The Arabian Racehorse - Summer 2022

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Summer Issue !"!!

T H E

A R A B I A N

RACEHORSE

Goodwood Royalty Qatar International Stakes Special


'Spirit' - Bronze Edition of 9

DEBORAH BURT Award Winning Sculptor in Bronze - Commissions Welcome

www.equinecreativemedia.com THE ARABIAN RACEH RSE Tel: 00 44 (0) 7782349047

Email: equinecreativemedia@gmail.com


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T H E

A R A B I A N

RACEHORSE Summer Issue - 2022 4

News

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Valiant & Nass secure Hiab Al Zaman

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Al Ghadeer - First Group 1PA win for Al Mourtajez

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UK Mid Season Review

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Qatar International Stakes Review

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Goodwood Spotlight - Jim Crowley

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Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes Preview

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UAE President Cup - UK Arabian Derby Preview

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UAE President Cup - UK Arabian Derby Spotlight - Rafel Platek

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The Final Furlong

Front cover: Lady Princess(FR) winner of a second Qatar International Stakes (Gr1PA)

Produced by equine creative media Stable Cottage, Fosse Cross, Cheltenham, Glos, GL54 4NP

equinecreativemedia@gmail.com 00 44 7782 349 047 www ww ww.equinecreativemedia.com

Unless otherwise stated, all features, reports and photographs are by Debbie Burt (copyright) All rights reserved. Print copies may be ordered. Photographs may be viewed and purchased at ww www ww. w.equinecr c eativemedia cr i .smug ia u mug ug u .com ug THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE PODCAST The 2022 UK Arabian racing season beganon Monday May 16th at Royal Windsor (see review on page 33) which meant the return of the The Arabian Racehorse podcast. The video podcast is brought to you in association with Equine MediRecord and is available on the EMR's very own YouTube channel. Each edition is also posted on The Arabian Racehorse and Equine MediRecord Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, with past episodes always available.

The current edition previewing the Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes at Newbury is available by clicking the link below: https://youtu.be/vQVt4XkRhyY

ARO INTERNATIONAL CALENDAR ONLINE With two UK pattern races outstanding those interested racing their horses in the remaining Arabian Racing Organisation Purebred Arabian Group races can find further details on supplementation for the UAE President Cup - UK Arabian Derby (Group1PA) and for entries to the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Cup (Group 3PA) via the link below to the online information brochure.

ARO is still in negotiations with several potential sponsors for their other PA Group races and further updates may be issued in due course. Click the link below to view:

https://issuu.com/thearabianracehorse/docs/aro_group_races_2022_brochure_6f9f63825e8b11

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ARO LOOKS FORWARD TO A SUMMER OF PA GROUP RACES AT NEWBURY, HAYDOCK AND DONCASTER Though what had once been the Arabian Racing Organisation’s seasonal highlight, the Dubai International Arabian Races, has now been consigned to the history books, the hugely important Qatar International Stakes opens eight weeks of pattern racing in the UK.

honing their campaigns for the two Group races that are readily within their compass - the Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes and the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup.

As ARO and UAE Arabian handicapper Stephen Molyneux noted in The Arabian Racehorse’s Goodwood preview podcast, the Qatar International Stakes has settled in well to the global Arabian racing programme. Though the high-quality nature of the declarations means the domestic challengers are running for the lower end of the prize money, they are

With those races being a Group 2PA and a Group 3PA respectively, they are not early closers, with entries accepted until five days before the race. However the UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby, a Group 1PA, closed on August 4th, though it is possible to supplement, and it is currently the last black-type race of the UK season (for entries see page XX).

Bayan Athbah (GB) leads them home in the Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes (Gr2PA) at Newbury THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (formerly the ARO Cup) Group 3PA - £14,000

Saturday 3rd September 2022 Haydock Park Racecourse, UK

Entries close: Saturday 30th August 2022

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Bayan Athbah (GB) wins the 2021 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (Gr3PA) at Haydock Park - the first time an Arabian black type race has been run at the track

For 2022 the Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes, formerly the Za’abeel International will, for the first time be open to three-year-olds, having previously been restricted to four-year-olds and upwards. The six-furlong charge has kept its traditional venue on the straight course at Newbury and was run for the first time under the Royal Cavalry’s sponsorship last year, when it was won by Bayan Athbah. That mare was the star of the summer, going on to win the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup over a mile at Haydock Park. The race was another new sponsorship for ARO having previously been run as the ARO Cup, firstly at Newbury and then at Royal Windsor. On both occasions the race had been won by

trainer Phil Collington, who trains Bayan Athbah, not only that she was the third mare to win the race, after Aghsaan and Shomoos Athbah. Those wishing to supplement for the £80,000 UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby, or to enter the £14,000 HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (Gr3PA) should contact the ARO office. www.aroracing.co.uk

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UAE PRESIDENT SHEIKH KHALIFA BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN 1948-2022 UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, has died at the age of 73. Sheikh Khalifa had been president of the UAE since 2004, but his role had been largely ceremonial since he suffered a stroke in 2014. His half-brother, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was elected the third and current president the following day after his brother's death on May 13.

comprise the UAE. He took over as the UAE's second president in November 2004, succeeding his father as the 16th ruler of Abu Dhabi. In the first decade of his rule, he presided over a major restructuring of both the federal government and that of Abu Dhabi. However after his stroke, he was seldom seen in public, though he continued to issue rulings. Sheikh Khalifa cherished the Arabian horse, it’s history and it’s culture and supported all sports that highlighted the breed’s versatility – racing, showing and endurance.

Sheikh Khalifa was also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, capital of the seven emirates which

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FINAL REMINDER FOR BRITISH BREEDERS FROM SHADWELL ARABIANS Time is running out to take advantage of Shadwell Arabians unique opportunity for British Arabian breeders to purchase the frozen semen of ten Arabian stallions at the bargain price of £100 for 2 doses.

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TAAJER: full-brother to Group 1 winner Handassa; winner by the exceptional Madjani, a successful sire in racing and endurance

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VASILISK: a remarkable racehorse from a Russian bloodline, sire of winners

For 2022 the frozen semen of the following stallions is available only in the UK: AL SAOUDI: French bred multiple Group 1 winner, from the damline of Al Mourtajez, Al Moutawakila, Al Mouhannad, and sire of Stakes winners and performers -

BENGALANT: Group 1 winner by the exceptional Bengali D’albret

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CHNDAKA: dual Group 1 winner by Dormane, sire of Stakes winners and performers

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DAFFAQ: multiple Group winner by Dormane

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EAU ROYAL: multiple Group winner by Djel Bon

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JIYUSH: multiple Group 1 winner by Manganate, from the same damline as Al Zahir, Royal Class, Prince D’orient, Dahor De Brugere, Amyr Du Soleil.

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KAOLINO: Kahayla Classic winner by Dormane, sire of Group winners

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MONSIEUR AL MAURY: Group 1 winner by Djelfor, from the same damline as Tidjani, Ziva, Mushrae, Djesabelle

The offer is open to all breeders, whether they wish to produce racehorses, endurance horses, sport horses or leisure horses. The semen can be used in 2022 or at a later date. Breeders may buy 2 doses of frozen semen of those stallions for the price of £100 (due at booking, no Free Return guarantee), while stocks last. The semen is currently stored at West Kington Stud; breeders may organise the shipment of the semen to other insemination centres within the UK. More details about the stallions are available on Shadwell Arabians website: https://shadwellarabian.co.uk/news/exciting-opportunity-for-british-breeders/

To discuss terms and availability with Shadwell email to: arabians@shadwellstud.co.uk

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EQUINE MEDIRECORD SECURES INVESTMENT FROM US PRIVATE EQUITY Equine Technology company Equine MediRecord has closed an investment for an undisclosed eight figure amount, thought to be just over !10 million, to drive adoption of its equine welfare and anti-doping platform in Europe, North America and the Middle East. The company also plans to expand its growth and operations team. The investment came from Chicago based private equity firm Merit Holdings through their Inova Group Holdings platform which also previously acquired Business Infusions, the largest equine veterinary software group in the world. Business Infusions is the owner of a number of equine technology products including Hospital Veterinary Management System, Cassadol Equine and Signature Veterinary Practice Management Software. Equine MediRecord will also join the Business Infusions group. Founded by Pierce Dargan, Simon Hillary and Finlay Dargan in 2016, Equine MediRecord is a previous winner of Tangent’s Trinity Launchbox in 2017. It is now headquartered on The Curragh, in Kildare, and has been supported by the Kildare Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland. The Equine MediRecord platform has gained a lot of international traction in Ireland, the United Kingdom, The United States and Saudi Arabia with clients such as the Breeders Cup World Championships, The Saudi Cup and the American Classic Preakness Stakes. “It’s great to be supported by Inova Group and Business Infusions and that they believe in our goal to promote equine welfare and anti-doping best practices by driving adoption of our platform’,” said Pierce Dargan.

“This funding will help us bring our platform to more horse farms and equine events ensuring equine welfare best practices are being adopted in Europe, North America, the Middle East and beyond.” “Equine MediRecord is a compelling network-based platform that is helping to transform and digitize the equine industry with a clear and quantifiable value proposition for trainers, events, associations, vets and the broader equine community, underpinned by a scalable cloud-based software platform and distinguished by a strong leadership team. We look forward to partnering with and supporting Pierce and Finlay Dargan and the broader EMR team to capitalize on the Company's significant growth opportunities to build the premier platform promoting equine welfare and anti-doping for decades to come.” said John Burke, Chief Executive of Merit Holdings. “With the deep roots in the equine domain, Pierce and Finlay have solved a key problem for the ecosystem and they were a natural fit for our expansion plans as our first acquisition. EMR brings a unique perspective to our team and will further enable Business Infusions to grow globally and provide equine health solutions to this industry through technology integration. We are excited to have these talented leaders on our team .” said Scott Pickard, Chief Executive of Inova Group & Business Infusions. www.equinemedirecord.com

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ERA CHAIRMAN SHEIKH MANSOOR APPROVES FIXTURE LIST FOR EMIRATES RACING SEASON 2022-2023 The forthcoming ERA 2022/23 season will begin at Al Ain on Oct 28th, with HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) endorsing the fixture list in June. “We are happy to announce the 2022-2023 racing programme, which provides trainers, owners and racing fans with a fine programme scheduled across the five racecourses in the UAE. The season offers local and international races for Thoroughbred and Arabian horses, and we hope and look forward to a great season starting Friday October 28th.” Sheikh Mansoor added: “Last season was immensely successful and witnessed change at numerous levels and we will continue in our endeavour to provide the best to everyone involved: owners, jockeys, trainers, fans. We look forward to welcoming the entire racing community and we hope to have another great season and put on another great show for everyone.” Concluding his remarks, Sheikh Mansoor extended thanks to Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmook Al Maktoum, the Vice-Chairman of the Emirates Racing Authority, the ERA’s Board of Directors and teams as well as race clubs and sponsors that step forward to wholeheartedly support the sport. The UAE 2022-2023 racing campaign includes a total of 68 meetings spread out across five venues, starting with the opening fixture at Al Ain Racecourse on Friday, October 28, 2022. That first weekend of racing will also witness Jebel Ali Racecourse hosting the first of its 11

meetings on Saturday, October 29, and Sharjah Racecourse opening its doors for the first time the following day, Sunday, October 30. Racing at Meydan Racecourse begins the following week on Friday, November 4, hosting 21 fixtures, whilst Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Racecourse kicks off its season six days later with the first of its 15 assignments on Thursday, November 10. Ain Racecourse has been scheduled to host a total of 14 meetings, with Jebel Ali Racecourse assigned 11 overall and six days of racing to grace the Sharjah Racecourse. Events at Meydan Racecourse will culminate in the 2023 edition of the $30.5million Dubai World Cup meeting, one of the world’s biggest horse racing tournaments, set to be held on Saturday, 25 March. Which, for the first time in its history, falls during the month of Ramadan. “We are delighted to announce an enhanced programme for the 2022/23 racing season in Meydan,” said Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk. “We thank HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed and the ERA team for their support, which has enabled us to enrich the fixture list and create a dynamic new programme that offers greater opportunities for international horses to compete here during the Carnival.”

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“We are also grateful for the support of our local horsemen and women, as well as our loyal racegoers, and look forward to welcoming them back to our iconic Meydan Racecourse for the first of our ‘Racing In Dubai’ meetings on 4 November.” “Dubai continues to introduce initiatives to boost the sector and revitalise the global community of horse owners, trainers and other equestrian professionals. With its deeply-rooted traditions in horse riding, racing, breeding, endurance, showing and show jumping, Dubai continues to be focal point for the global equestrian fraternity,” he added. The 20th edition of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, which brings together horses, trainers and jockeys from all over the world, gets underway on Friday, 6 January. An enhanced Carnival programme, with prizemoney totalling

more than $7.5million, will take place at Meydan Racecourse between January and March, culminating in ‘Super Saturday’ – the official dress rehearsal for the Dubai World Cup – on 4 March. Established in 2004, the 2023 Carnival will feature several new races for thoroughbreds, with 21 Group races scheduled across the programme book. Purebred Arabians have their share of the action, too, which includes the three Group 1PA legs of the Al Maktoum Challenge over 1600m, 1900m and 2000m. A new Arabian sprint series has also been proposed in order to boost horses suited by trips of a mile or less which will be finalised over the summer recess. The season comes to an end as it began at Al Ain, with the final fixture on March 31, 2023. www.emiratesracing.com

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NEW SUMMER SEASON IN SAUDI ARABIA AT TA'IF Racing in Saudi Arabia returned on Thursday June 16 with a significantly expanded programme at King Khalid Racecourse in Ta’if. This year the Ta’if racing season has been increased to 48 meetings, double the number of fixtures that were staged in 2021, with the season stretching until Saturday October 8. In total 384 races will take place – up from 190 – and several valuable new contests have been added to the calendar, including the $260,000 Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Cup, which will be run alongside feature races of the Ta’if season, the King Faisal Cup and Ta’if Cup on Saturday September 3. The new National Day Cup meeting on

Saturday September 22 will also feature the Ta'if Derby, Ta'if Sprint Cup and Ta'if Arabian Horses Derby, all worth over $100,000. Several existing races have received major prize fund boosts, and the winner of the Ta'if Cup for two-year-olds will receive double last year’s figure, at over $100,000, while the three-year-old version will now be worth $130,000 and the OKAZ Cup has increased from $130,000 to $185,000. Ta’if is situated at a higher altitude and is closer to the coast than Riyadh, making it cooler and able to host racing throughout the summer months.

Ta'if's King Khalid Racecourse where the racing season runs from June to October THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Formerly trained by Phil Collington for breeders Shadwell Estates, Alajab (GB) (grey cap) wins over 2000m at Ta'if on July 29 for new owners Athbah Racing, from Qayd Al'ard (GB) (white cap) and Pharitz Al Jazi (GB) (blue cap) both bred in the UK by Beverley Deutrom Several trainers from other GCC countries are expected to bring their horses to Ta’if this season, with support expected from regional neighbours, Bahrain and the UAE. Salem Binmahfooz, Director of Racing at the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, said: “Our expansion of the Ta’if racing season at King Khalid Racecourse in 2022 signifies our continued investment in racing in Saudi Arabia and our eagerness to see the sport flourish and to engage new audiences. “The significant increase in racing and prize money will help to attract some of the best horses in Saudi Arabia as well as the wider region to race at this unique

course over the coming months. “We hope that the JCSA’s continued support will further strengthen the roots of Saudi racing to continue the fine progress that has already been made.” To follow the racing tune into the JSCA's YouTube channel, visit their website and twitter feed. www.frusiya.com https://www.youtube.com/c/EquestrianCRLive

@JSCA_Racing All photos © JSCA

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RACING WELFARE BEST TURNED OUT SERIES The popular Best Turned Out Series sponsored by Racing Welfare which rewards the hard-working ARO grooms with points awarded in every race has reached it's mid-point with Sue Wileman currently heading the leaderboard with three wins. At the end of the season, the winners in each category will receive a cash prize of £125. The category's are as follows: to the individual from a yard with ten or more horses, to the individual with the most points from a yard with nine or fewer horses and a further award to the yard that accrues the most points overall, who will also receive a trophy. In addition, there will be five individual Best Turned Out cash awards of £20 presented by the regional Welfare Officer who will be representing Racing Welfare at the following meetings: Bath (11th MayAnnette Hansford), Wolverhampton (23rd May- Holly Bostock), Newbury (30th June Izzy Brown), Brighton (5th August -

Beverley Deutrom) and Haydock (3rd September). Genny Haynes, ARO CEO commented: “ARO is extremely grateful for the continued support of Racing Welfare, recognising all the hard-working staff behind the scenes and on course." Racing Welfare’s Support Line is open 24/7 on 0800 6300 443 to anyone needing assistance or via live chat online at: www.racingwelfare.co.uk Racing Welfare teams are also contactable during weekday office hours via the numbers below: Malton: 01653 696 869 Middleham: 01969 624 123 Lambourn: 01488 670 034 Newmarket: 01638 560 763

Current individual overall leader Sue Wileman of Peter Hammsley's yard THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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AFAC CALENDAR UPDATED AFAC have released their latest update to their calendar for racing which runs up to 11th December 2022. It incudes a 'new' Group 1PA race for fillies' and mares, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Liwa International Stakes at La Teste on August 8th. The race, formerly

known as the Hatta International Stakes when run in the UK, has been transferred to France, following the death HH Sheikh Hamdan and the loss of Shadwell's sponsorship in the UK.

3yo Calendar

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4yo+ Calendar

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ARABIAN DAY IN POLAND The S"u#ewiec Racecourse in Warsaw will host Arabian Day on Sunday, August 21, featuring 9 races, including 4 high-profile and prestigious international races. The main highlight on the agenda is the Europe Prize (G3 PA, 2,600m), held since 1985, which was added to the Sheikh Zayed Bint Sultan Al Nahyan racing series in 2010. Besides the prestige, the horses will compete for nearly PLN 150,000. Those specialized in short distances will be able to prove themselves in the Al Khalediah Poland Cup (Listed PA, 1,600m), which has a prize pool of PLN 70,000. The Bia"ka Stakes (PLN 52,500, 2,000m) is

scheduled for three-year-old horses, while 4-year-old and older mares will have an opportunity to compete in the Sabellina Stakes (PLN 29,750, 2,000m). After entries closed on July 20, the Group 3PA Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – Nagroda Europy had received nine entries including Poland’s top rated older horse and last year's winner, Amwaj Al Khalediah, as well as Salam Al Khalediah from Maciej Kacprzyk’s stable.

Ameretto (FR) wins the HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan Europy (Gr3PA) at Sluzewiec for a fourth time in 2015. The race was held as part of the Sheikh Mansoor Festival's World Arabian Horse Racing Conference in Warsaw. THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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There were eight entries in the Listed PA Al Khalediah Poland Cup, including Poland’s second highest rated horse, Rasmy Al Khalediah, trained by Janusz Kozlowski. The Nagroda Bialki was well supported with 15 entries, the most coming from Cornelia Fraisl’s stable, with six entries. The International Arabian Day in Warsaw is a unique opportunity to meet great personalities in the world of Arabian horse breeding and racing. An opportunity to exchange experiences and establish new relationships whilst watching races at the highest world level.

The final balck type race is held on Sunday October 23: NAGRODA POROWNAWCZA (LR PA) 2400m (Turf) Total Value 52.500 PLN (30.000-12.000-6.000-3.000-1.500) [approx. £9,300, £5,300 to the winner] International race for 3yo and up Arabian horses. Weights: 3yo 54kg, 4yo 59kg, 5yo and up 62kg, 3-6yo fillies and mares 2kg allowed. To close on October 12 by 9.00 am (declaration to run) Entry fee: 750 PLN; Rider fee 150 PLN

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Gulf 22-23 Season Preview Valiant And Nass Secure Hiab Al Zaman

Hiab Al Zaman wins the Grade 3 Texas Arabian Stallion Stakes in 2021 © Dustin Orana The impressive winner of the US stage of the UAE President Cup, Hiab Al Zaman has been sold to Victorious and Fawzi Nass and will be trained by Nass in Dubai. He follows in the hoofprints of another eye-catching US bred runner, RB Rich Lyke Me who had been runner-up in that race to Paddys Day before his sale to the Bahraini partnership. Following his arrival from the US, RB Rich Lyke Me had won his first two starts at Meydan, the Group 2PA Bani Yas and the Group 1PA Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge, before running a solid third behind Hadi De Carrere in the Obaiya Arabian Classic on his first attempt at

2000m. Strongly fancied in the Kahayla Classic, the six-year-old was hampered on the rail not long after leaving the stalls and never got back into the race. Hiab Al Zaman will likely follow the same path with those two valuable Gulf Group 1PA races on dirt as his main targets. Nass has been training the locally bred Arabians in Bahrain for a few years, however their stud book is closed and internationally bred horses are not permitted to compete. He set up satellite yards in both Saudi Arabia and Dubai last winter, adding the American bred RB Rich Lyke Me and the Italian bred Antares Del Mar to his thoroughbred string.

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RB Rich Lyke Me (US) and Adrie de Vries go to post for the 2022 Dubai Kahayla Classic Strongly fancied to win, all chance was was lost after 300m when he was badly hampered on the rail and was in no position to recover finishing 13th

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Fawzi Nass

Speaking to The Arabian Racehorse during the preparations for the Saudi Cup meeting Nass explained: ”I’ve trained Arabians in Bahrain for a few years, but they are locally bred, RB Rich Lyke Me and Anatares Del Ma are very different. They are part of the group of horses that I have in Dubai, based at Al Quoz.” “I decided to start training them [Arabians] because there are enough international races for the Arabians, especially in the Middle East. I thought there were opportunities there, so hopefully I am right. Continuing he said: “This winter I’ve three bases, here in Saudi with five horses, around 70 in Bahrain and 18 in the UAE which makes life a bit more difficult, but with the right teams in each place, it

makes life a lot easier.” Speaking of his partnership he commented: “The association with Victorious is working out well, we are partners in both RB Rich Lyke Me and Antares Del Ma, and also with the thoroughbreds. Victorious is owned by HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who is a good friend and very easy to work with.” With his first internationally bred Arabians arriving last September, Nass admitted he’d struggled to find the right race for Antares Del Ma in his build up to the Al Mneefah Cup, saying : “It’s been difficult for me to gauge the Italian form and I’ve not been able to get a run into him. He’s not shown much on the dirt, and we couldn’t find the right turf race for him, so

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He says RB Rich Lyke Me’s purchase was by co-incidence as he was suggested to him by a friend, who knew much more about Arabians. He explains further: “I wanted to get in on the right path, rather than have a bad start, so I called Diane Waldron who bred him, and we started from there.” This time around he will be ahead of last year’s schedule, as RB Rich Lyke Me and Hiab Al Zaman will already be settled at Al Quoz by the time the UAE season starts on October 28. Antares Del Ma had made his debut in Nass’s colours in the Prix Dragon, trained briefly by Elizabeth Bernard before shipping out to Dubai. Though he failed to live up to expectations, it has by no means put Nass off racing in Europe with Arabians, something he has done with great success with thoroughbreds. “I would definitely consider a European campaign, but here [Saudi] and the Dubai

are current goals, we’ll see what happens after that. I will be on the look-out for more Arabians to add to the team.” With Hiab Al Zaman as the latest addition, he will fulfil owner-breeders Sue and Jim Meyer wish for their colt to prove himself further on the world stage. After his eyecatching victory at Pimlico, offers to sell were inevitably quick to arrive. By her own admission, Meyer already knew the horse’s future did not lie in the States, saying in Saudi: “If we want to compete in more [Grade 1’s], we have to travel. We just don’t have the level of races in America at the moment, that we need for him to progress. Following the difficult decision to sell, she said: “It is hard letting him go, but he will have the best chance of proving himself among the best horses in the world. He’s by far the nicest horse we’ve bred, we’re so proud of this once in a lifetime horse. He is truly special.”

Hiab Al Zaman (US) after winning the UAE President Cup at Pimlico © P Dargan THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Al Mourtajez gains his first Group1PA winner Al Ghadeer

Al Ghadeer and Christophe Soumillon win the Al Rayyan Cup (Prix Kesberoy) (Gr1PA) at Deauville ©QREC/Suzanna Lupa

With only 14 runners to date in France, from 19 horses allocated to trainers, firstcrop stallion Al Mourtajez has made quite an impact siring four individual PA Group performers, the best of which to date is Alghadeer, recent winner of the first significant race for three-year-olds in Europe, the Al Rayyan Cup (Prix Kesberoy) (Group1PA) at Deauville’s August meeting.

Al Mourtajez had got off the mark with Morad, naturally an Al Shaqab homebred, scoring in the Group 2PA Qatar Coupe de France des Chevaux Arabes in June at Chantilly, for Charles Gourdain and Christophe Soumillon. Morad’s dam, Nyriad (by Dormane) best previous product was the Amer filly, Almaa who won three Group 2PA’s, all at Toulouse in 2017.

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In July Al Mourtajez gained an auspicious 1-2-3 in the Group 3PA Royal Cavalry Oman Prix Tidjani at La Teste-de-Buch, with Haras de Castelnerac and Thomas Fourcy-bred, Helal Al Alawi owned Joe Star scoring a black type win on his debut. Fellow debutant Al Ghadeer finished a close second in the colours of his breeder Dr Mohammed Al Nujaifi, with Ska De L’Aigle, bred by Patrick Lombrail and racing for Abdullah Fahad Al-Attiyah in third. This month in Deauville, Al Ghadeer stepped up to claim top level success, turning the tables with Joes Star and now trained by Francois Rohaut and carrying

Al Wasmiyah Racing’s colours. The son of Gharraa (by Matador) had clearly improved past that debut effort, putting five and a half lengths between him and Joe Star with a further 16 lengths back to Monaasib in third. Al Mourtajez himself may not have been Al Shaqab’s much hoped-for first winner of the Doha Triple Crown, he was however the first horse to win all three stages, albeit in different seasons. At his best he was capable of putting up some hugely impressive performances on the track, readily dismissing his peers with wide margin wins at Goodwood, Longchamp, Chantilly and Doha.

Al Mourtajez (FR) wins his first Qatar Arabian World Cup in 2015 THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Al Mourtajez (FR) wins his second Qatar Arabian World Cup in 2016 at Chantilly

Winning eight Group 1PA races, including the Qatar International Stakes (Goodwood), two Qatar Arabian World Cups (Longchamp and Chantilly) and the HH The Amir’s Sword (Doha), he was a dual world champion. A winner of 12 of his 18 starts, from 1600m to 2400m, all bar one of those wins coming at Group level. Even in 2022, he still holds the highest international rating ever achieved by an Arabian as agreed by the International Federation for Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) Pattern Committee, peaking at 134. Trainer Thomas Fourcy, who also rode Al Mourtajez on his debut at three years, commented on his retirement to stud: “He always proved a fierce adversary, powerful and tough, he had stamina doubled with an extraordinary action. He is an outstanding horse with numerous qualities and an excellent temperament. I believe he will suit a wide range of broodmares.” He was bred by Hassan Mousli, Nadia Mousalli and Faiz Al Elweet at Mousli’s Haras Nationale de Saintes, based between Saintes and Rochefort in the Charente-Maritime region of south west France. This has been the source of

numerous Group 1 PA winners, despite Mousli having no background in horse breeding. Supported by Al Elweet, he initially selected mares based on conformation, though as he became more knowledgeable of pedigrees, they assumed greater importance. All of his mares now have 25% non-French blood, for example Tunisian, British or Polish lines, which he believes adds speed and acceleration. That Al Mourtajez has made such a brilliant start was to be expected, not just because of his brilliant career on the track but as he is a product of two hugely influential bloodlines. A grandson of the multiple champion sire (and sire of sires) Amer, and of the blue hen Fatzica, who only produced six foals, but with great influence in the breed. Fatzica was sourced for breeders Michel and Bénédicte Poydenot’s stud in the early 1990’s by Martial Boissieul. Her British Crabbet damline was unknown to him, but he knew the sire Fatzour well, so that, combined with her exceptional good looks, was the deciding factor. It certainly wasn’t her temperament, as she was described as savage and untouched, even though she was 13 years old.

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The Poydenot’s sold Fatzica with her progeny, Arwa (by Nuit St Georges), Ava (by Djamel) and Azadi (by Darike) to Mousli in July 1999. Two months later her first foal Arwa (dam of Al Mourtajez) won her only start, a three-year-old fillies’ race over 2200m. In addition to Al Mourtajez, Arwa has also produced Al Moutawakila, who won the four-year-old fillies’ race, the Qatar Total Arabian Trophy des Juments (Gr1PA) in 2012. Fatzica’s third produce Azadi, was only placed at the highest level from a handful of starts, however he has made an impact as a stallion. Standing privately at Mousli’s stud and from very limited numbers, he has sired the Group 1 PA winners Al Nachmiya, Al Mouwaffak, Nafees and more recently Rijm and the Prix Dragon second Artemis. Next came Al Saoudi, a full brother to Arwa, who was a four-time Group 1 PA winner, who stood under the Shadwell Arabians banner in the UK. Whilst Al Ryme (by Kesberoy) was Group 1 PA

placed in France and is the dam of Al Mouhannad and Al Chammy. Full siblings by Nizam (another son of Amer), between them they are the winners of four Za’abeel International Stakes (Gr1PA) at Newbury (now the Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes, (Gr2PA). The Za’abeel is a race that was won three times by Al Mourtajez’s sire Dahess. One of Amer’s most successful sons, Dahess’s 13 Group 1PA wins also include two Malazgirt Trophies in Istanbul, as well as the Qatar International and the HH Sheikh Mohammed Trophy in Doha. Winning an astonishing 28 races in five countries from 1000m to 3100m, he was at his best over shorter distances. Dahess has proved hugely successful as a sire, with the ability to improve his mares. His multiple Group winning progeny include Samima, Djet Taouy, Dahore De Brugere, Thess Is Awesome, Rodess Du Loup and currently has the promising Moshrif to represent him on the track.

Dahess (GB)'s current Group1PA star - Moshrif (FR) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Al Nachmiya (FR) with a one day old Alwasmiah (FR) ©Al Shaqab Retired to stud in 2018 alongside Dahess, Al Mourtajez stands at the Haras Du Thouars in the Aquitaine region of France, with his fee for 2019 set at !5,500 (frozen semen) or !4,500 (fresh semen). He had received over 100 bookings, in his first season, with frozen semen sent to Belgium, France, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, UAE, UK and USA. By 2022 with his first runners set to hit the track his fee was reduced to !3,000 (frozen semen) or !3,500 (for chilled or export). Speaking of his first season at stud Al Shaqab Arabians then bloodstock manager Nicholas de Watrigant commented: “Al Mourtajez has been very well received here and abroad, with all the top breeders in France sending him their high-class mares. His owners Al Shaqab have of course largely supported him with their very best mares. The few first foals we’ve seen so far show a lot of quality. We are all very excited about his

future as a sire.” Al Mourtajez’s first foal on the ground, who de Watrigant had cited as his best example, was a filly out of Al Nachmiya, HE Sheikh Joaan Al Thani’s first ever Group winner (Arabian or thoroughbred), who won the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Pouliches (Gr1PA) for three-year-olds in 2011. A hugely significant horse for her owners, she had also produced Al Shaqab’s first homebred Group 1 Arabian winner, when Al Haffanah (Amer) won the same race in 2018. That filly is now named Alwasmiah and is in training with Fourcy. When asked earlier in the year about the precocity of his former charge’s progeny, Fourcy certainly didn’t feel that they would make the impact they have by this point. He observed that Al Mourtajez had been slow to come to hand at three, only running once and he expected that his offspring would follow that trait.

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Al Ghadeer was bred by Nujaifi in France and managed by Val Bunting’s Esteem Bloodstock. On the colt’s success Bunting commented: “He was born on April 1st our little April fool! I foaled him myself as I usually do with all the mares. His mother is always very foal proud for about a week afterwards and will try to kill anybody who goes near her baby.

of foot and speed to finish a race was incredible. I was convinced he would pass this on (I always planned to use him) and I can see these same qualities in Al Ghadeer. There are not too many Al Mourtajez offspring on the track at the moment but Joe Star does impress, whilst Morad showed tenacity when winning in Chantilly.

“He always showed his quality from day one. Easy to handle. Accepted everything new without a drama. He was broken in at two years by Yann Creff who rated him highly even then. Yann produced him for the Arqana sale, but we decided not to take him. So he went from Yann to Damien de Watrigant who continued with his education, training him for his first race. He told me many times that this colt is very special and he was proven right. The rest as they say is history.”

“We have a two-year-old colt out of Hamiya just being broken right now and two yearling colts out of Muneera and Ghazwa. All his progeny seem to have a good mindset and a strong head just like him. I am quite surprised that more have not hit the track yet, maybe the majority need more time.”

Concluding she said of his sire: “Al Mourtajez is a horse that impressed me more than most when he raced. His turn

On the evidence so far, it looks likely that his stock will prove very popular at the forthcoming Arqana Sale at Saint-Cloud on September 29th, as well as the proliferation of online PA sales that are now available.

Al Ghadeer (FR) in 2019 © Val Bunting THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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UK Mid-Season Review

The 2022 Arabian Racing Organisation season started at Royal Windsor on 16th May with the first of eleven races sponsored by the HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival. As we pass the season’s midpoint, Phil Collington and his principal patron Athbah Racing are now well

established at the top of the owner and trainer leaderboards. Their four-year-olds Ekleel Athbah and Rebal Athbah are first and second of the horses and look an exciting pair who will no doubt feature strongly in the ARO Group races in the second half of the season.

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Meanwhile there’s a familiar face leading the way in the jockeys’ title as Charlie Price, ARO leading novice in 2016 and then leading professional in 2019, is ahead of Tom Marquand by count back on placings, but there are plenty snapping at his heels and it looks likely to be a fight to the wire for that trophy. May 16th In the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-70) handicap over a mile at Royal Windsor, Rebal Athbah, partnered by Tom Marquand made an authoritative start for the Newmarket based team with a threequarters of a length win from Awtaar and last season’s leading jockey, Hollie Doyle. Bin Al Reeh and Marco Ghiani were a further six and half lengths back in third for Peter Hammersley and HH Sheikha Maryam bint Maktoum Al Maktoum. Doyle and Awtaar had set a steady pace in front, however they were joined by Rebal Athbah and Marquand in the home straight, raising the tempo and drawing clear of the field. The pair battled on strongly with Rebal Athbah getting to the front inside the final furlong, winning in a time of 1.52.32. After the race Marquand said: “He’s still a bit green and still learning, but he did what he had to do. To bump into much

more experienced horses, round a tricky enough track, he’s done well to win today, so hopefully they’ll be more to come from him.” Speaking of his association with the Festival Marquand said: “Thanks to support of Sheikh Mansoor in the early part of my career, I got the chance to go down to Australia and ride for David Hayes and Tom Dabernig and rode a few winners for Shadwell whilst I was there. Things spiralled and I’ve been fortunate to have quite a bit of success there since.” Of Rebal Athbah’s performance Collington said: “We’ve learnt a lot more about him, it’s great that he’s won. Tom feels that a step up in trip would be beneficial, he’ll improve again from this.” Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, commented: “The Festival is delighted to support the Arabian Racing Organisation through the sponsorship of these races in the UK. We congratulate the winners today, in particular Tom Marquand as he went to Australia for four weeks in 2016 as part of the mentorship programme established by the Sheikh Mansoor Festival's Racing Scholarship Fund.”

Rebal Athbah (FR) and Tom Marquand win at Royal Windsor THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Balqees (FR) and Hollie Doyle win from Ekleel Athbah (FR) and Pat Cosgrave

May 23rd There’s nothing like your first winner in your own colours and Gary Allsopp was delighted to get off the mark in his own name at Wolverhampton with the James Owen trained Balqees in the Emirates Breeders Maiden Stakes over a mile. Ridden by Hollie Doyle the pair hung on gamely to win by a neck from Ekleel Athbah, with another Owen trained runner, Al Mahbooba in third. Allsopp is a recent convert to Arabian racing, having taken advantage of Shadwell Arabians leasing offer last season, when adding Balqees to a number of thoroughbred syndicate options he already has and registered his colours with the Arabian Racing Organisation. A thrilled Allsopp commented: “My wife and I are absolutely delighted. Just to be here, and then having a winner and picking up a trophy at the end of it. We’re

involved in other horses, including Cachet who won the 1000 Guineas a couple of weeks ago, so that was a dream, but this for us is very special. I know things have been difficult with the sport for everybody, but I hope people will look at this and see that there’s some great racing. We’re enjoying being involved.” Owen was pleased for Balqees saying: “She knuckled down at the line and wasn’t stopping. Al Mahbooba ran ok, she’s going to find it easier in handicaps when she steps up in trip. I think Balqees can hold her own in better company, so she might just go to Doncaster next.” “It’s good to ride a winner for owners new to the game.” Said Doyle after the race. “This filly seemed nice today, so hopefully they can have some good days out with her. She was very straightforward, she has a nice high cruising speed and when I asked her to quicken she did.”

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May 31st Owner-trainer-breeder Steve Blackwell made a great start to his season with his homebred mare Aloof winning from his other runner Aljawaaher, at Brighton in the wathbastallions.com (0-55) Handicap Stakes run over an extended six furlongs. The pair were his first two runners of 2022, with Aloof and Charlie Price finishing a length ahead of Aljawaaher and amateur jockey, Lewis Saunders, with Bin Al Reeh a further two and a half lengths away in third. A delighted Blackwell who rode his first ever winner at the track when he was an apprentice and hadn’t been back for 43 years said: “Aloof is still very green and doesn’t know how to race. Charlie did a good job of pushing her forward and hopefully the penny should have dropped today, she’s been much better this year at home. She’s fit enough, we just need to get her head straight.” Of his ride Price commented: “We’ve jumped out and got quite a good position, I’ve had to put her in a pocket as

they went quite quick in the first couple of furlongs, as soon as things settled down mid-way through the race, she started to travel and pick up the bridle, which suited me down to the ground. I’ve come upsides two horses up the run in and she put her ears back and galloped all the way to the line. She’s still green, but she’s improved an awful lot from last year.” Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “The Festival is delighted make its’ first ever visit to Brighton racecourse and we congratulate the winners today. The Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to support our grassroots participants and Steve Blackwell’s win is a great example of what can be achieved with this sort of support.” It is interesting to note that Aloof was the product of a free cover to Seraphin Du Paon won by Blackwell’s mare, Spirited Game, back in 2014, when she won the UK Owned Mares’ Championship. [Blackwell was interviewed in The Arabian Racehorse Spring 2022 edition, see page 102].

Aloof (GB) and Charlie Price win from Aljawaaher (FR) and Mr Lewis Saunders © Brighton Racecourse THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Wanaasa (GB) and Neil Callan win at Doncaster on Epsom Derby Day © Nigel Kirby

June 4th There was further success for Allsopp, the latest recruit to the ARO owners ranks when he was back in the winners’ enclosure again, this time at Doncaster with Wanaasa. The ex-Shadwell mare was making her debut in his colours, winning the Emirates Breeders (0-95) Handicap over a mile. Allsopp also shared in the success of the second placed horse, Al Kaaser, as he is a member of the James Owen Racing Club for whom the horse runs this season. Owen completed the one-two-three with Jaahez, in the colours of his wife, Jenny. Speaking from Dubai, about his recent successes Allsopp said: “I’m really happy to have my second winner in a short space of time in Arabian racing with Wanaasa. A big thank you to Shadwell for giving me

the opportunity to buy such a nice horse. It was also good to see the Racing Club horse Al Kaaser run a nice race for James and all the partners.” He continued: “It’s been an amazing day for the team at Green Ridge Stables having pre-trained the Derby winner Desert Crown, I’m really happy for James and his team.” Genny Haynes, ARO CEO commented on his success saying: “ARO warmly congratulates Gary Allsopp whose experience of Arabian racing is getting the best possible start with two winners from three runners so far. Both were Shadwell bred horses and it is great to see the legacy of the Late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum continuing in UK Arabian racing.

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Gary Allsopp with his first ever winner Balqees (FR) Darren Plumb with Jeewan (GB) and Dougie Costello in Plumb's father's colours

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Jeewan (GB) and Dougie Costello [far side] win from Aljaawaher (FR) and Mr Lewis Saunders 11th June 2022 The Happy Birthday Your Majesty Wathba Stallions Cup (0-65) Handicap may have been the longest race in the ARO calendar, however it was still able to produce a thrilling finish at the end of the two mile one furlong marathon. Longtime race leader Jeewan and Dougie Costello beat Aljawaaher and amateur jockey Lewis Saunders by a nose in a photo. In third was a previous Wathba Stallions Cup winner Falcon Du Roc’h, whilst Gerko De Tenelle, trained like the winner by Jayme Plumb, was fourth. Plumb who also owns both horses with her husband Darren, was delighted with their performances saying: “This is our second ever winner with ARO. Jeewan won carrying the colours of Darren’s late father, and that’s their first win, so that’s really special for us. This is only our second season with Jeewan since we got him from Shadwell, he’s so quiet at home a child can ride him, but he livens up when he gets to the races.

“Dougie gave him a lovely ride. It’s a trip that both our horses liked, we’ll see how they are after the race and what the handicapper does before making any further plans.” It was a first Arabian winner for jockey Dougie Costello who had previously ridden Jeewan for his owner breeders Shadwell Estates before the horse joined the Plumbs two years ago. Commenting on the horse’s performance he said: “We got a soft lead in front and he was crying out for the line when it came. He’d probably appreciate a bit of juice in the ground, but he’s tough and he acts on this, but I’d say he’d be happier on easier ground.” Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “The Festival is thrilled to see such a competitive finish to the race honouring Her Majesty and we congratulate the winners today. It is also fitting that Jayme Plumb should train the first winner on Bath racecourse's annual Ladies Day card.”

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13th June 2022 The Collington stable were back on top with a one-two-three in the mile long Emirates Breeders Maiden Stakes at Royal Windsor. Ekleel Athbah ridden by Tom Marquand had the race set up for her by her stablemate Kafou Athbah, who was sent into an early lead by Silvestre de Sousa. The grey filly was able to assert from a furlong out and kept on well to finish two and a half lengths in front. Lujain, making her debut for Collington in the colours of John Elliott, stayed on from the rear despite running very green throughout the race. Collington was naturally pleased by the performances of Athbah Racing’s horses, but was just as delighted for Elliott for whom he trained his first winner as a trainer in 2016. Commenting after the race he said: “Obviously Ekleel Athbah was the one to beat. Her first two runs were messy races for her, she suffered with a stop start gallop in Belgium and at Wolverhampton they didn’t go overly quick. Tom said that he was aware of what happened in those runs, so he sent her to the front a lot earlier. “I told Silvestre to be positive on Kafou Athbah, as he does a lot of lead work at home. I think he appreciated running on turf as well, as he’s like his sire No Risk Al Maury who I used to ride, they both like good, good to firm ground. As for Lujain,

that has made my day. I’m thrilled for Ekleel of course, but I’m so pleased for John and Teresa.” As for the horses next targets he said: “We’ll see what’s on offer for Ekleel, I don’t want to run her back too quickly. I’m really pleased I didn’t run her at Doncaster, I don’t think that would have helped her mentally. We’ll give her a short break and see what’s on offer after that. Kafou could go to the Wolverhampton maiden, or we might just wait to get him back on Turf. Lujain could step up in trip and go to Wolverhampton, she looked like she was staying on strongly today.” Marquand, riding his second winner this season for Collington and Athbah Racing said of Ekleel Athbah’s win: “She jumped off well, followed Phil’s other horse and travelled better than the rest. She’s still learning and going in the right direction and should progress from this.” Genny Haynes, Arabian Racing Organisation CEO commented: “ARO congratulates Phil and his team on their success today, hopefully we will see Ekleel Athbah progress to our more high-profile races later in the season. Athbah Racing has had great success starting their younger horses in the UK, who have then gone on to even greater achievements abroad. We also thank Neil Abrahams for presenting the trophies on behalf of the Emirates Breeders Series.”

Ekleel Athbah (FR) and Tom Marquand THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Ekleel Athbah (FR) and Tom Marquand Balqees (FR) and Sean Levey lose by a neck to Paramer Angel (GB) and Charlie Price

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Paramer Angel (GB) and Charlie Price win from Balqees (FR) and Sean Levey

June 30th Delyth Thomas’s Paramer Angel made a winning return to action at Newbury in the Al Rustaq Fort (0-75) Handicap Stakes over 1m2f, partnered by Charlie Price. The 11-year-old stayed on well to keep recent winner Balqees and Sean Levey at bay by a head, with Jaahez and Arabian racing newcomer Miss Rhea Betts a further three and a quarter lengths away in third. Price, a conditional jockey attached to National Hunt trainer Tim Vaughan was naturally pleased with the win, as had originally steered Paramer Angel to his first two victories when still an amateur. After the race he said: “That was really great. That’s our first runner back this season, it took longer than we’d planned, as we wanted to start earlier but we had a few issues with the gallop at home. A mile and two furlongs is probably not his best distance but that rain shower before the race probably helped him. He sticks his neck out when he’s in a battle, I can’t fault the horse, he just tries. Speaking of his partner Izzy Brown, Price continued: “She does a great job with

Paramer Angel at home, he’s a handful to ride. I come in on Wednesdays and Sundays to help her out when I can, but I can’t be there all the time as I’m away racing. She does a brilliant job with him so it’s great for her to win the Best Turned Out Award as well.” Of his season so far, he commented: “Things are going well with the jumpers, I’ve had three winners already this new season and that’s my second Arabian winner so it’s a good start. Mohammed Al Hashmi, General Secretary of the Royal Horse Racing Club was there to present the trophies commented: “The Royal Cavalry of Oman are delighted to be back at Newbury and we congratulate the winners today in what was a very competitive race.” Charles Gregson, ARO Chairman said: “ARO is extremely grateful for the generous sponsorship that the Royal Cavalry of Oman have given us since 2008 and are delighted to welcome Mohammed Al Hashmi back to the UK to present the trophies to Delyth and Charlie.”

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Paramer Angel (GB) with Charlie Price and Izzy Brown Kafou Athbah (FR) and Ray Dawson

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July 5th This time it was the turn of Athbah Racing’s Kafou Athbah to cross the line in front, when winning at the third time of asking in the wathbastallions.com maiden stakes over nine and a half furlongs at Wolverhampton. Ridden by Ray Dawson, the three-year-old colt stayed on well in the home straight to draw clear of longtime leader Al Mahbooba by a length and a half, with stablemate Lujain a further seven and a half lengths back in third. Collington, who had three runners in the race was delighted with Kafou Athbah and Lujain saying: “Kafou Athbah’s so game, he really stuck his head down. The leader Al Mahbooba set a decent gallop and quickened off of that, so he had to chase her hard, but once he got on top, he proved he stays well too. He could go to Doncaster, but we’ll have to see what mark he gets. “One thing we were worried about with Lujain was the surface, Molly Presland who has ridden her both times wasn’t sure she enjoyed the kickback and maybe she’s just going to be better on turf. Her dam certainly was and she’s got a beautiful action. She could go back to Windsor, or she might have a break now.”

After the race Dawson commented: “This is my first Arabian winner in the UK. I rode Kafou Athbah first-time out here in May and he’s a really honest little horse. Arabians have a reputation for being a bit tricky but he’s very genuine and I think stepping up in trip helped him today, he should win plenty of races.” Dawson who had spent last winter in Dubai said of that experience: “I had a really good season with Ahmad bin Harmash and rode plenty of Arabians for other trainers, I’m really looking forward to going back .” Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “The Festival is delighted to support a race with these exciting young horses at the start of their careers and we congratulate the Athbah Racing team today.” Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer commented: “ARO warmly congratulates Athbah Racing, Phil and his team on their win and look forward to seeing how all these well-bred horses will progress throughout this season. Phil has had a great record with his runners making a good start in the UK before going on to better things in the Gulf.”

Kafou Athbah (FR) and Ray Dawson lead home Al Mahbooba (FR) and Lujain (GB) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Ekleel Athbah (FR) and Sam Hitchcott win from Bayan Athbah (GB) and Abiyah Athbah (GB) July 7th Athbah Racing continues to go from strength to strength, achieving a one-two in the Nizwa Fort Conditions Stakes with Ekleel Athbah getting the better of her stablemate Bayan Athbah by a length and a quarter at Newbury. The six-furlong contest saw some of the UK’s best Arabians turn out, with Abiyah Athbah, another Athbah homebred now owned by Dilmun Racing, a further four and a quarter lengths behind in third place. A strong pace had been set by former Group3PA winner Storm Troupour who was making his seasonal reappearance, however he lacked the fitness of the rest of the field and his efforts came to an end at halfway, when Abiyah Athbah took up the running. Ray Dawson gave the mare every chance, however the six furlongs

has proved too sharp for her on more than one occasion, and she had to concede to Bayan Athbah who was seeking a second course and distance win. That had come at Group2PA level in the Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes last year, but it was her stablemate that had the greater turn of foot. Ekleel Athbah, having been held up early on by Sam Hitchcott, was travelling easily and despite jinking left in the final strides readily got on top at the finish. Crossing the line in a time of 1.18.11 it may not have topped the hand timed record set by Bayan Athbah last year of 1.17.65, however it was still well ahead of the previous record of 1.18.88 set by Nashwan Al Khalediah when winning the Zabeel International Stakes (Gr1PA) in 2010.

THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


46

“Ekleel running in this race was a bit of a trial to see if what she was showing at home would be proven right on the racecourse.” Commented a delighted Collington. “She’s shown that’s she’s progressing fast and I still thought that Bayan would out point her, but Bayan will come on for that run, although she was already very fit. Bayan probably needs headgear now, but take nothing away from Ekleel, she’s stepped up again so I’m very pleased with them both. “We’ll have a good think about where next for Ekleel, the Derby is still an option, she’s also in at Goodwood and there are races abroad for her. Bayan will most probably go to Goodwood next.” After the race Hitchcott said: “She’s every right to be a bit green at the end, Phil did say she’d be better arriving late and I

admitted to him that I probably got there too soon, because I didn’t want his other filly to get too far ahead, as she’s proven at the trip. This filly’s on the up and is very versatile as regards to distance. She’ll be a nice prospect going forward for the owners and for Phil. Good Arabians get any trip you want them too and she’s got a good mind, so fingers crossed for the future.” Bill Smith, ARO Director commented: “This was a really exciting race which produced a great finish from three of our best mares and we congratulate Athbah Racing, Phil and his team on their success. We thank Colonel Nasser Awladwoder, Assistant Director General of the Royal Cavalry of Oman for Technical Affairs, who presented the trophies to the winning connections.”

Phil Collington, Ekleel Athbah (FR) Frank Taillard and Sam Hitchcott THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Zayin Zyperion (GB) and Joey Haynes win from Sattam (FR) and Aljawaaher (FR) 8th July 2022

on really well.

ARO’s their first visit to Chepstow was for the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-65) Handicap over a mile in which Zayin Zyperion showed he was back to form when winning by two and a half lengths. The homebred of Zayin Arabians, trained by Peter Hammersley, was a comfortable winner from the Mohamed Sultan Alajmi owned Sattam, who is another new owner for ARO, with Steve Blackwell’s consistent Aljawaaher a further length away in third.

“He’ll probably go to Brighton next for another Wathba Stallions race over seven furlongs.”

Partnered by Joey Haynes who had won on the seven-year-old at Wolverhampton over the same trip last year, Zayin Zyperion tracked the leading pair of Callymay and Heritage Valentino. They were perfectly positioned to take over from Sattam who had worked his way to the fromt after four furlongs, but he was no match for Zayin Zyperion.

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “The Sheikh Mansoor Festival congratulate the winners today. The Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to support our grassroots participants and we are delighted that Zayin Zyperion was homebred winner, which is exactly the type of horse this series aims to promote.”

Zayin Arabians’ Paul Simmons was delighted with his homebred saying: “He was a bit disappointing at Windsor, he blew a lot after the race. He’s quite a stuffy horse first time out, but we were confident coming into it today, Pete said he’d been working well at home and he was on his toes in the parade ring. I wasn’t sure he’d handle the firm ground and I was a bit worried he’d gone to the front too soon, as he’d been tracking Sattam who was the main danger, but he stayed

After the race Haynes said: “I was confident if he could reproduce his winning form from Wolverhampton last year, he’d go very close today. He’s travelled beautifully, he’s handled the track and the ground well, I’ve almost got there a little bit too soon, but he’s stayed on nicely through the line.”

Bill Smith, ARO Director commented: “ARO congratulates all Paul, Joey, Pete and as his team for their win with Zayin Zyperion who looked to be in command of the race early on and won easily. We’re delighted that the race took place in front of such a large crowd of well over 7,000 introducing the sport to many new people, who clearly enjoyed watching the race and cheered the winner enthusiastically.”

THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Zayin Zyperion (GB) and Joey Haynes at Chepstow Rebal Athbah (FR) and John Fahy at Doncaster

THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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July 16th Following on from their one-two at Newbury, Athbah Racing and trainer Phil Collington scored another resounding success in a Royal Cavalry sponsored race, with their Rebal Athbah dominating the Sohar Fort (0-80) Handicap Stakes at Doncaster. The four-year-old colt partnered by John Fahy, tracked longtime leader Al Mahbooba in the James Owen Racing Club silks and went smoothly into the lead in the home straight to win by an easy three and a half lengths. This was the fifth success for Athbah Racing and Collington this season, cementing their place at the top of their respective ARO leaderboards. The mile and a quarter race was run over the same course and distance as the UAE President Cup - UK Arabian Derby, to held on Cazoo St Leger Day in September, for which this victory could prove a useful trial. Collington explained: “We’re delighted with Rebal Athbah, he’s improved since his Windsor win and the step up in trip and the addition of the headgear also helped; we’ve got everything right today. I think he’s justified an entry for the Derby, he’s entitled to improve again from this. It’s only his third race and we’re learning more about him.” Speaking of their other runner, Kafou Athbah, he continued: “I think the race came too soon after Wolverhampton, he’s

run a bit flat here, but we’ll get him home and check him out to make sure.” Whilst Rebal Athbah was recording his third consecutive win, his jockey was scoring a second win on an Arabian, his first, back in 2016 was also in the Athbah Racing colours. Of Rebal Athbah’s success Fahy said: “Phil’s instructions were to keep it simple, it was never in doubt really. He travelled good and quickened well, the ground is nice, you’d like to think he’d progress. I don’t ride enough Arabians to know just how good he was, but I’d say he’d be one of the best I’ve ridden. The win at Newbury was a long time ago, but it’s good to get another on the board for them.” Genny Haynes, ARO CEO commented: “That was an impressive performance from a four-year-old to beat older more experienced horses and the time of 2.21.28 compares favourably with those times recorded by previous winners of our Derby here. We congratulate Athbah Racing, Phil and his team on Rebal Athbah’s success and we very much hope he’ll be back here in September. “We thank the Royal Cavalry of Oman for their generous sponsorship of our racing this year and it was great to welcome back Colonel Staff Saif Al Saeghi, Assistant Director General of the Royal Cavalry of Oman for Administrative and Financial Affairs, who presented the trophies to the winning connections.”

Rebal Athbah (FR) and John Fahy win from Al Mahbooba (FR) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


50

Heritage Vadel (GB) wins from Aljawaaher (FR) July 20th There were smiles all round for Mrs Skepper and her daughter Jane Marson when their homebred stallion Heritage Vadel stayed on well to win the Wathba Stallions Cup (0-55) Handicap Stakes over a mile and a half at Southwell. The sevenyear-old kept the consistent Aljawaaher at bay, with his brother, Heritage Valentino a further three lengths behind in third to give the family a memorable success. After the race a delighted Marson commented: “It’s fantastic to come and win a race like this with Heritage Vadel and to be third with his younger brother too, we’re chuffed to bits.” It was a third winner of the season for James Owen, his representative Alex Chadwick said: “It’s a massive improvement by the horse, the blinkers definitely helped today, and I think getting a good lead into the race and kicking for home off the bend has paid dividends. We’re delighted for the owners; they’ve been very patient.” Heritage Vadel was ridden by Newmarket based apprentice Rhiain Ingram who was recording her first win on Arabian having been called up on a regular basis by Owen this year. Of Heritage Vadel’s

performance she said: “He travelled well for me the whole way round, he’s a little bit one paced and the way the race panned out it meant I could just keep kicking and he’s ground it out all the way to the line. It’s nice to ride a winner for James, he’s been really supportive of me since the season started.” Mark Clayton, Executive Director of Southwell racecourse was thrilled to welcome Arabians to Southwell saying: “We’ve been waiting to get ARO and the Arabians here for some time. The opportunity to hold the race came via the loss of the Bath fixture due to the extreme weather, but we’ve grabbed it with both hands, and I hope Arabians will be back again in the future. Now we have the Tapeta surface installed we’d like this to be an annual event.” Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer commented: “ARO warmly congratulates Mrs Skepper and Jane Marson as well as Rhiain and the James Owen team, for not only winning with Heritage Vadel, but also with Heritage Valentino placing third as well. They are exactly the type of small owner-breeders that the Wathba Stallions Cup series aims to support.”

THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


51

Heritage Vadel (GB) and Rhiain Ingram at Southwell Tijaary (FR) and Miss Rhea Betts at Brighton

THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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August 5th

on some of the others.

Young amateur jockey Rhea Betts gained her first ever winner in the Wathbastallions.com (0-75) Handicap Stakes over a mile at Brighton today on Tijaary. One of four runners in the race for trainer James Owen, Betts brought the nine-year-old to challenge stablemate Awtaar and Tom Greatrex just over a furlong out, going clear to win by four and a quarter lengths from a staying on Zayin Zyperion and Joey Haynes. Awtaar kept on to be a further length and a quarter behind in third.

“Tijaary had a little injury last year and we’ve nursed him back, he’s dropped to his lowest handicap mark, but there were a few others in the race in a similar position. I’m a little bit disappointed with Awtaar, she looked quite fresh in the race and it was quite a fast run affair and I think that was what got her beat in the end. She’s still a maiden, but she’s still run well and the second horse had won last time.”

Betts, who was overjoyed with her win said: “It’s a bit surreal, it’s over so quickly, it’s only my third ride, the horse gave me such a good spin round. I started working for James in January and I absolutely love it. There’s a really good team at home and everyone’s really supportive. James have given me my childhood dream to win a race. I love the Arabians, it’s brilliant.” Owen was pleased for his pupil saying: “That was great for Rhea, she’s shown good style, she’s got a good brain and I’m really impressed with her. She’s worked for Owen Burrows and for Shadwell, and has been with me for about seven months now. She puts a lot of effort in and she’s grateful for the opportunities, she’s getting there. It’s nice that we’ve got these types of horses that we can gives her rides, and we can utilise her claim now

Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival, said: “We’re delighted that the Sheikh Mansoor Festival has been part of Brighton’s Star Sports Festival and was the concluding race of their Festival Finale today. We congratulate Rhea on riding her first ever winner and all the connections of Tijaary” Charles Gregson ARO Chairman commented: “ARO is thrilled to be able to give these opportunities to young riders like Rhea and we hope that she can progress from this win today and well done to James and his team for supporting her. We’re most grateful for the generous sponsorship of the Sheikh Mansoor Festival which allows us to put on races of this nature that support the sports grassroots. We also wish them well for the first running of their Group 1PA Liwa International Stakes at La Teste.

Tijaary (FR) and Miss Rhea Betts win from Zayin Zyperion (GB) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


53

Lujain (GB) and Molly Presland winning at Royal Windsor John Elliott, Teresa Kinsey, Phil Collington, Lujain (GB) , Becky D'Arcy and Molly Presland

THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Lujain (GB) and Molly Presland win from Al Mahbooba (FR)

August 7th John Elliot’s Lujain confirmed her early season debut course and distance promise with a length and a quarter win in the Al Jalali Fort Novice Stakes over a mile at Royal Windsor. Ridden by apprentice Molly Presland, she passed long-time leader Al Mahbooba and Keiran O’Neill in the last half furlong for a comfortable win, with the pair finishing well clear of Mayfair and Rhiain Ingram. Afterwards her trainer Phil Collington commented: “I’m so pleased for John and Teresa and the filly, she deserved that. Obviously she was back on what we thought was her favoured ground after that great run here first time out in June. There’s still so much more to come from her, she jumped off quite well at Wolverhampton and she was a little bit slow away today, but though she’ll go up a lot for this, she’s got the ability to cope. “I’m pretty certain that will be it for her this season.” Collington continued. “The only reason she ran today was because with the weather we’ve had, we thought we’d get quick ground again. I rode her dam Tawaazun, who was highly talented, but it was difficult for Gill Duffield to keep her in one piece at times, I think this filly could be as good or better than her dam, let’s hope she’ll keep improving. I think she’s shown today that she’ll get a mile and a quarter on turf.”

Presland, who was recording her first win on an Arabian said: “I’ve ridden Lujain in all her runs and every time she’s been improving. She’s a really honest horse so I had no worries about getting there, even though the other one had got away from us. She tries her heart out. I go in and gallop horses for Phil when he asks, he’s been great to me.” Elliott himself was “thrilled” with his filly’s performance and was recording his first win since his homebred Hau Kola deadheated at Taunton in 2018. Elliott has had a long association with Collington, first when Collington was a jockey and then later providing him with his first winner as a trainer. Charles Gregson, ARO Chairman commented: “ARO congratulates John, Phil and Molly on their win with Lujain today. John has been a long-term supporter of ARO and we’re thrilled to see him back in the winners enclosure with such a smart looking filly. “We’re also delighted to be back at Royal Windsor with the Royal Cavalry of Oman as it is a racecourse they have had a great association with, having sponsored many races here in the past. We thank their representative, Colonel Mohammed Al Hadi, the Royal Cavalry’s Assistant Director General, who presented the trophies.”

THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Rebal Athbah (FR) one of two Laith Al Khalediah progeny to win this season THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Qatar International Stakes Group 1PA Wednesday 27th July 2022 - Goodwood Racecourse, UK

LADY PRINCESS (GB) Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari Thomas Fourcy Jim Crowley

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Qatar International Stakes (Group 1 PA) Goodwood, UK 1m 4yo+ LADY PRINCESS (FR) (6 m General x Nacree Al Maury (Kesberoy) Owner: Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari Breeder: EARL Du Champ Ginoux & Mme Elodie Bellaud Trainer: Thomas Fourcy Jockey: Jim Crowley

The £400,000 race is the most valuable Arabian race in the UK and the most valuable race over a mile for Arabians in Europe. It has seen many of the best Arabians in the world compete and this edition saw last year’s winner Lady Princess, meeting First Classs, currently the world’s highest rated mare and gelding, along with Samlla, Europe’s highest rated four-year-old. In total there were four individual Group 1 PA winners of an impressive 16 top-level races and

across the field they had won 53 races between them. Once again Lady Princess defied her diminutive stature to prove herself true Goodwood royalty securing back-to-back wins. Ridden by her now well-established partner Jim Crowley, Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s six-year-old mare became only the second horse, after Ebraz (2019, 2020), to win the race twice.

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The paddock prior to the eighth running of the Qatar International Stakes (Group1PA) Best Turned Out winner Abiyah Athbah (GB) and Liz Sian

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Alban de Mieulle who joined his nephew Jean, waiting to saddle with Thomas Fourcy Al Kaaser (FR) and Dan Muscutt lead Djafar (FR) and Tom Marquand and Balqees (FR) and Hollie Doyle to post

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Last away from the stalls as Balqees leapt across her path, Crowley was content to let the seven-time Group 1PA winner sit off the pace at the back of the ten-runner field. Abiyah Athbah took her customary place at the head of affairs under Marco Ghiani, who had ridden Dilmun Racing’s eight-year-old into third place in last year’s Group 3PA Sheikha Fatima Cup over the same trip at Haydock. Tracked by Al Kaaser and Balqees, Zayin Angkor Centurion was already finding the pace too hot and was progressing backwards through the field before halfway. The two former Alban de Mieulle trained runners, Dubai Kahayla Classic winner First Classs and Qatar Gold Sword second Mwarid were moving into contention on their respective debuts for new trainers Jean de Mieulle and Eric Lemartinel. Entering the home straight Lady Princess had a wall of horses in front of her, with the Derby winners Samlla and Hattal better placed on the outside to make their challenges. As is often the case at Goodwood, the cut away where the track

opens up at the two-furlong marker proved the deciding point in the race. Abiyah Athbah had just relinquished the lead to Mwarid, with First Classs in behind him and Djafar to his left in the centre of the course. Samlla and Hattal were maintaining their positions, which at that point kept Lady Princess in a pocket. Hattal, who had never raced below a mile and a quarter, lengthened under Ioritz Mendizabal at the furlong pole going readily to the front, with Samlla in pursuit and Lady Princess still unable to gain a clear run between them. However as Hattal drew away from the early leaders on his inside, he drifted towards the rail giving Lady Princess the daylight she needed. As the pair hit the final half furlong her nose was ahead and she continued to make ground in front, though Hattal refused to be shaken off, going down by a neck at the line. Samlla and Maxime Guyon, were unable to match the pace of the favourite in finishing a further one and a quarter lengths behind in third.

From left to right: First Classs (US), Hattal (FR), Djafar (FR), Lady Princess (FR), Mwarid (FR) and Samlla (FR) THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Hattal (FR) and Ioritz Mendizabal Samlla (FR) and Maxime Guyon

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Thomas Fourcy celebrates a third win with HH Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Jim Crowley and Abdulla Ahmed Al Marri receiving on behalf of Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari This was an eighth Group 1PA win for the Lady Princess and her third under Crowley who said: “Lady Princess is everything you’d want in an Arabian racehorse. She wins over all trips, she’s got speed, she’s got a great mind. She’s a real pleasure to ride. “We went very slow in the race which wasn’t ideal, but I thought she had a very easy race today, compared to Doha where she had to work for it, arguabley her best trip is ten furlongs. Wherever she goes next, I’ll be there.” Fourcy who was recording his third win in the race after Al Mourtajez in 2016, commented: “Lady Princess is a champion. It was difficult for her to get pass Samlla and Hattal, but once free it was no problem for her. She is a little filly and she can get through a small gap! “Her next race will be the World Cup at

Longchamp, then Abu Dhabi, then Qatar, the same as last year, possibly Dubai, Inshallah.” Also confirming the slow early tempo was Guyon who commented: “We had a good race behind the second horse. It was not really fast enough, so when I come for the win, it was too late. Samlla needs to come off a faster pace, but he went very well and for him it was a good performance.” HH Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani presented the trophies to the winning connections, with Abdulla Ahmed Al Marri receiving on behalf of Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari. Adam Waterworth, Goodwood’s Events Managing Director said: “The race had everything you’d want, it looked competitive beforehand, and we would always want to see previous winners, come back and run well, and win again."

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Lady Princess (FR) returns to the winners encosure with Jim Crowley, Marie Tallon and Thomas Fourcy, where they are met by representatives of Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari

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He continued: With Jim Crowley being relatively local to Goodwood, when he rides a winner, it’s always going to be popular with our crowd, there’d be about 16,000 here today which is about the same as we had in 2019.” HE Issa Bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club Chairman commented: “We are proud of our sponsorship of the Qatar International Stakes as one of our most valuable races and part of our commitment to promote Arabian racing. We are very pleased to see this race, has once again, attracted some of the world’s top Arabians and was a fabulous addition to the Qatar Goodwood Festival. I’m sure fans of all forms of racing were fascinated by the spectacle of the Arabian horses at Goodwood. QREC would like to thank

ARO and Goodwood for the excellent coordination and cooperation.” Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer was delighted with the competitive nature of the contest saying: “That was another fantastic finish for our most valuable race. We congratulate Lady Princess and her connections, some of whom were able to enjoy the race in person this year. “ARO is extremely grateful for the ongoing support of our racing by Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, who have been sponsoring this race as part of the Qatar Goodwood Festival since 2015. We also congratulate Liz Sian who won the £250 Best Turned Out Award for Abiyah Athbah.”

Watching the race on the big screen in the paddock THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


DEBBIE BURT EQUINE CREATIVE MEDIA ARO Official Photographer HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Award Winner International Photographer To view and purchase photos from the 2016 to 2022 ARO seasons please visit www.equinecreativemedia.smugmug.com THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Goodwood Spotlight Jim Crowley

Jim Crowley in the Shadwell blue and white silks at Newbury With the loss of Shadwell’s Arabian racehorses, it would have been reasonable to expect their retained jockey Jim Crowley to lose his association with the breed, particularly with quality thoroughbreds like the unbeaten Baaeed as one of his regular partners. However in December, Crowley struck up a new partnership with the ‘pocket rocket’ Lady Princess, whom he rode to a third consecutive Group 1PA victory at Goodwood last month, bringing the mare’s own tally to eight top level wins. Born into a racing family, in the hospital opposite Ascot racecourse, Crowley’s parents trained point-to-pointers, with his father having ridden under rules and his

mother as an amateur. He feels fortunate to have grown up show jumping, hunting, pony clubbing and showing, “doing a bit of everything really.” For a man with so many important Group 1 wins of both breeds to his name, he was a reluctant jockey in the beginning saying: “I joined a trainer as a pupil assistant, as I didn’t really want to be a jockey to be honest. I got my amateur licence out and it just snowballed from there. I stated off riding in point-to-points and then Harvey Smith came up to me when I was riding at Wetherby one day and offered me a job riding for him and his wife Sue. The following week I moved to the Yorkshire moors!”

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“It was a bit of a culture shock to say the least, but it was brilliant, and I loved it, everybody knows who Harvey Smith is and I would say he’s the finest horseman I’ve ever worked under. I was there for around three years. I went as an amateur and left as a fully-fledged jump jockey.” Having ridden over 250 winners over jumps, Crowley became one of a number of jockeys to switch to Flat in 2006. History now proves that a wise decision, though for him not without risk as he explains: “It was a huge gamble, I think at the time a few jockeys had done it but on a much smaller scale and I wasn’t struggling over jumps, I was riding 40 to 50 winners a year, I was doing ok. My father-in-law, Guy Harwood, had been a Flat trainer and he would say ‘why don’t you try and ride on the flat?’ Even Tony McCoy would say to me when I was weighing out with all this lead, why don’t you switch?”

“I was fortunate that my sister-in-law Amanda Perret had plenty of horses in training at the time and she promised to support me as best she could - so it was a gamble, but I was very lucky as well. I hit the ground running in my first year and had a couple of Group winners and the rest is history.” His first ride on an Arabian came well before his association with the late HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, riding Mack The Knife in a premier handicap at Kempton in 2007. However with few rides under ARO rules, it wasn’t until 2012 he gained his first winner riding Verdora for the Kippens, in a Wathba Stud Farm Cup Premier Handicap at Newbury. She was trained by Dennis Batteate, for whom he had come within a length of the mighty Jaafer ASF the previous month riding Tidarbret, with Group 1PA winners such as Areej, Mu’azzaz, Asraa Min Albarq behind them.

Jim Crowly and Lady Princess (FR) win the 2021Jewel Crown (Gr1PA) ©ERA THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Jim Crowley and AF Mathmoon (AE) win Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge (Gr1PA) at Meydan in 2017 In common with a number of amateur’s interviewed by this magazine, Crowley agrees that that the experience of riding National Hunt horses probably helped when riding Arabians saying: “For sure. Arabians they’re very intelligent, much more so than thoroughbreds, I think you have to try and think like them really. "I spent the first part of my career riding horse that you might say had questionable attitudes, so you always had to try and get the best out of them. I think when riding Arabians, some you have to ask them nicely and others you have to let them know that you’re the boss and not them.”

Crowley was crowned champion jockey in 2016 having ridden 148 winners that season and just a few weeks later in November, he got the call to be first jockey for Sheikh Hamdan. There are few retained jockey positions which require them to ride Arabians too, however that aspect didn’t particularly register as he headed out to the UAE. “I didn’t know that much about it at the time. I went straight to Dubai after accepting the job and my first ride for him was AF Mathmoon in Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge, which we won.”

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Travelling abroad to ride was already second nature to Crowley and not just after his switch to the Flat as he explains: “I’ve ridden at a Breeders Cup, in India and Saint Moritz on the ice. When I was a jump jockey I was very much have saddle, will travel, I used to ride all over – Italy quite a lot and France and the Czech Republic. I enjoy ridding in different countries, if you manage to ride a winner abroad it gives you a great satisfaction to do so in someone else’s back yard!

that I had some very nice Arabians to ride. I’ve always enjoyed riding them, as of course I’ve ridden some good ones. Some of them can be a challenge, but I actually look forward to riding them.”

“The more you can visit different places, the more you broaden your experience, I’m at a stage now in my career where I’ve had plenty of experience riding abroad now, I’m not going there to learn, as I’ve probably ridden there before already. I’ve now been in Qatar and Bahrain; I’ve been lucky to travel around to some lovely places.”

“Muraaqib was a very strong, well bodied horse with lots of ability. When he won at Goodwood, he was excellent that day.

“I was very fortunate, especially in Dubai,

His highlights in the saddle for Sheikh Hamdan, apart from AF Mathmoon, include the prolific Group1PA winner Muraaqib, who provided Crowley with is first Qatar International Stakes win in 2018.

“I also thought that Al Zahir was probably one of the best I’ve ridden too, he was very talented, but didn’t really handle the Dirt at Meydan. He was very good round Abu Dhabi though. Obviously, Lady Princess is now right up there with the best of them.”

Jm Crowley and Al Zahir (FR) win Round 2 of the Arabian Triple Crown (Gr3PA) in 2017 THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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DIAR 2019 - Tadhg O'Shea, Martin Dwyer, Jim Crowley, HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Bryony Frost and Richard Lancaster. Jim Crowley winning the opening race, the Emirates Premier Handicap on Al Azeeza (FR)

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Jim Crowley and Moshrif (FR) win the 2022 HH The Amir Silver Sword ©QREC/Juahim

Qatar is now also providing a fruitful association for Crowley in a different set of blue and white silks. Following his win on Lady Princess in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown in December, he was on a plane to Doha to ride another of Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari’s horses, Muraaqib’s younger halfbrother Moshrif in their three-year-old Derby. “It seems to be going well, obviously I was lucky that I got the ride on Lady Princess in Abu Dhabi and then I went back to Qatar before Christmas and rode Moshrif to win the Derby there, so it’s been a great start.” There was further success at Qatar’s feature meeting on Al Kuwari’s stars with Moshrif winning the HH The Amir Silver Sword and Lady Princess the HH The Amir Sword, of those victories he says: “To win on Lady Princess was brilliant. It meant so much to the Al Kuwari family. Obviously to

win the Amir Sword is a very big thing out there and to do it with her - she was third the year before - we know things have to go right for her. We were a little bit concerned about the distance, so everything had to be perfect. I was very lucky that all the splits came. She’s a fantastic horse who gives everything, it was a great experience.” Speaking of his involvement with the two sons of Shadwell matriarch Tashreefat he says: “Both Moshrif and Muraaqib are very strong individuals, very talented. Moshrif will keep on improving, he hasn’t reached his ceiling of potential yet, so hopefully that was a nice race for him to win and he can keep progressing. “I really enjoyed the Amir Sword Festival, they’re very passionate about their Arabian racing, and it seems to be a good standard of racing with some good jockeys riding there.”

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Jim Crowley with Francois Rohaut after Muraaqib (FR) wins the 2017 Jewel Crown Muraaqib (GFR) and Jim Crowley win the 2018 Qatar International Stakes

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Whilst riding overseas was undoubtedly a challenge during the Covid period, Crowley is in favour of some of the permanent changes it brought to UK racing. These include the retention of the one meeting per day rule, the removal of saunas from UK racecourses which led to the 2lb allowance, adjusted from the temporary 3lb during Covid. “They’re all positive developments. In the summer months it’s virtually impossible to travel between meetings with everybody staying in the UK and no one going abroad, the traffic is so bad. A journey that used to take an hour to get between two racecourses can now be two, possibly three hours. I was quite pleased about the one meeting rule, as it gives everybody an equal opportunity. You might miss a winning ride, but you can also pick up one at the course where you are, so it’s quid pro quo. “Jockeys are getting bigger nowadays, so the allowance, it’s made a big difference to me. I’m not having to get up every morning and loose two or three pounds in a bath. Without a doubt the allowance

and removing the saunas has made a difference. I’ve noticed a huge change in people’s attitudes, the environment [in the weighing room] is much better. Jockeys aren’t trying to get rid of weight in the sauna at the last minute. “We all ride dehydrated at some point, but not having to do that on a daily basis is important. If you have a light ride in a big race, you have some notice and you can work on getting your weight down, but if you’re trying to take two or three pounds off, or for some of the other jockeys, four or five – every single day – long term that’s not good for anybody, so it’s a big plus.” Of other improvements he’s seen over the course of his career so far, he says: “Jockeys are fitter now than they’ve ever been, the mentality now is so professional, we have jockey coaches and we’re all able to go home and watch replays of our races. Tactically I think they’re better than ever before. I think the standard of riding on the Flat has very much improved.”

Jim Crowley and Muraaqib (FR) getting the better of Ebraz (GB) and Theo Bachelot THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Jim Crowley with Mumayyez (GB) at Lingfield in August last year, his last Arabian winner for HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Shadwell Arabians

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That is certainly true of UK Arabian racing where professional jockeys have been allowed to ride in the majority of their races for several years now, though the standard of the amateurs riding has also improved.

having struck up a fruitful partnership with Lady Princess, who heads now to the Qatar Arabian World Cup and with Moshrif who could reappear in the UAE President Cup - UK Arabian Derby at Doncaster.

“In the UK a lot of the top jockeys don’t ride in the Arabian races, but when you look at France, the likes of Christophe Soumillon and Olivier Peslier, they’re happy to ride in the Arabian races.”

His concluding comment came after the Goodwood triumph: “The Arabians have been good to me and hopefully it can continue. Certainly wherever Lady Princess goes I’ll be there!”

Crowley has certainly embraced the Arabian breed with enthusiasm and

Jim Crowley and Lady Princess (FR) with AMrie Tallon at Goodwood THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes Group 2PA - 6f (1200m) - £20,000 Saturday 13th August 2022 Newbury Racecourse, UK

Entries close: Tuesday 9th August 2022

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Royal Cavalry of Oman International Stakes Group 2PA Newbury Preview

The Royal Cavalry of Oman are now in their second season of sponsorship of the UK’s premier six-furlong (1200m) sprint race, formerly known as the Za’abeel International Stakes at Newbury. The £20,000 contest was once one of the most thrilling races on the Dubai International Arabian Races card and the roll call of former winners bears some impressive

names. Best known would be the two three-time winners Dahess (2005-2007) and the Royal Cavalry’s own Al Mouhannad (2013-2015), but horses such as Aziz ASF (2011) winner of the HH The Amir Sword and more recently Al Mouhannad’s brother Al Chammy (2018), also owned by the Royal Cavalry, feature.

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Despite the limitations of Covid affecting the possibility of international runners, last year produced a thrilling victory by Athbah Racing’s Bayan Athbah, who when winning in a time of 1.17.65 broke the track record set by Nashwan Al Khalediah in 2010 of 1.18.88. However the official timing equipment at Newbury was proven to be faulty and so it was recorded by hand. Bayan Athbah has sidestepped her engagement in the race this year and Athbah racing will be represented by another grey filly in Ekleel Athbah. She has steadily come to hand under Phil Collington’s careful management and was an impressive winner of the Nizwa Fort Conditions Stakes, a prep for this event held over course and distance last month. In winning she beat Bayan Athbah by a

length and a quarter and in a time of 1.18.11, which marks her out as a filly to follow. She will also be partnered for the first time by ten times UAE Champion Jockey, Tadgh O’Shea, who was on board Bayan Athbah when winning last year. Meanwhile Collington seeks a third win, having also scored with the HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum Radames, in his first season training in 2016. Ekleel Athbah will be their sole representative from three entries, as Collington explained: “It was a fact-finding mission with Ekleel Athbah last time and she’s proven there now. Rebal Athbah has other options and as Ekleel won’t be carrying a penalty on Saturday like our other entry, Bayan Athbah, we’re hoping for a good run from her.”

Ekleel Athbah (FR) in the paddock at Newbury last month THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Fateenah (FR) with Royal Cavalry Racing Manager Caroline Brunaud © Robert Polin

As one of two four-year-old fillies in the race, Ekleel Athbah qualifies for the sex allowance of four pounds, the other being the Royal Cavalry’s Fateenah. Owned and bred by the race sponsors, Fateenah and Ekleel Athbah are closely matched on ratings and both will be seeking to gain that all important black-type win. Travelling over from France, Fateenah bids to follow in the hoofprints of Al Mouhannad and Al Chammy in carring the Royal Cavalry’s colours to glory. Twice a winner over seven furlongs, she has been Group 3PA placed over a mile in the Prix Damas at Bordeaux, just under a length behind the winner Ghurat Al Zaman, who has since finshed fourth in two Group 1PA contests. On her latest start back over her favoured trip of seven furlongs in the Prix Akbar at Dax, she was only beaten half a length by another Royal Cavalry owned runner, Safwah. This is the one piece of collateral form between the two fillies, as Safwah

has been beaten by Bayan Athbah over 1500m at Mons-Ghlin in January. Fateenah’s trainer Frederic Sanchez is also no stranger to success under Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) rules or at Newbury. He has a near perfect record of two wins from three UK runners and has a 100% strike rate at the Berkshire track, having won the Hatta International Stakes with Bayan in 2019. Speaking from his base in Pau, Sanchez said of his filly: “We hope for a good result as she is fast. Seven furlongs has proved best for her so far, but a straight six furlongs should be good as well. She is in great shape and her jockey Mikael Forest knows her very well.” Peter Hammersley sends two with blacktype placed form, last year’s fourth Abiyah Athbah and Zayin Angkor Centurion who is on a steady comeback mission after a year off.

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Abiyah Athbah (GB) and Marco Ghiani at Goodwood Zayin Angkor Centurion (GB) and Joey Haynes at Goodwood

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Balqees (FR) and Hollie Doyle at Goodwood

Dilmun Racing’s three-time All Weather winner Abiyah Athbah has proved best on quick ground as her close fifth in Goodwood’s Group 1PA Qatar International Stakes in 2020 shows. She was able to reproduce something like that exceptional form in another black-type contest over a mile last season, when she was beaten half a length into third by Bayan Athbah in the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup (Gr3PA) at Haydock. Third in the prep race behind Ekleel Athbah, she was a short head behind the seventh placed Balqees at Goodwood, in what was a particularly strong race this year. “This has been one of Abiyah Athbah’s main targets for the season, so we hope she’ll run really well” commented

Hammersley. “Zayin Angkor Centurion is still probably not quite at a 100%, so we go there with the hope of picking up some prize money at the lower end. More realistically for him is the handicap at Lingfield at the end of the month.” Five-time top ARO trainer James Owen has won a Royal Cavalry of Oman sponsored Group race at the track before with Awzaan in the 2019 Clarendon Stakes. This year his team’s hopes rest on Gary Allsopp’s Balqees who gave Allsopp a May to remember, providing him his first winner in his own colours when she beat Ekleel Athbah by a neck over a mile, three weeks after Cachet, who Allsopp is also involved with, won the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

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Balqees represents some of HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s best breeding being by his three-time Kahayla Classic winner Madjani, out of Najlaa who was a short head second in the Shadwell sponsored UK Arabian Derby when the race was run over a mile at Newmarket in 2014. They will be hoping that Balqees can sharpen her game with the addition of a first-time visor and will renew her winning partnership with Hollie Doyle who was also on board when she was seventh at Goodwood last month. Completing the line-up is recent course winner, Delyth Thomas’s Paramer Angel, who beat Balqees on his seasonal reappearance in a photo over a mile and a quarter. The eleven-year-old has been runner-up over this trip in lesser company, but all three of his victories have been over further. Regular rider Charlie Price will be on board as he has for all of the gelding’s wins. A former ARO leading novice rider, Price who has since turned

professional and is a conditional jump jockey attached to Tim Vaughan’s yard is also currently leading the ARO jockeys table for the year. Colonel Mohammed Al Hadi, the Royal Cavalry’s Assistant Director General, who was present for their most recently sponsored race at Royal Windsor, spoke there about the progress that has been made with Arabian racing in Oman. “The breeding programme has been expanded so we’re breeding most of the Arabian horses for our races. We use AI, along with our own stallions in Oman to improve our horses by using the best bloodlines available, such as those of Amer and other good stallions. “In a new initiative we will be selling some of the foals which is something that we’ve not done before. Certainly domestically, but maybe internationally too, that will be up to the department to decide."

Paramer Angel (GB) and Charlie Price at Newbury THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Dr Sarhan Salim Al Zeidi at Newbury in 2019 He continued: “Our racing season starts in October and now includes Arabian and thoroughbred races for the local people, along with the big says like the National Day, which moves around the country to encourage new people to get involved. The new focus is on the people of Oman to encourage them to learn much more about the horses and to get them to own their own horses. We want more domestic owners, along with the Cavalry and Police so that we have good competition, and it helps the sport to grow in Oman.” Genny Haynes, ARO CEO commented: “We were thrilled when the Royal Cavalry of Oman decided to take over sponsorship of this race last year, as it is a contest that always produces a top-class winner. We were also pleased to discover that they will be represented in their flagship UK race by what looks to be an exciting young homebred filly.

“The Royal Cavalry have been welcome competitors and generous sponsors in the UK for so many years. We look forward to their Director General, Dr Sarhan Salim Al Zeidi joining us on Saturday, along with their Racing Managers, Caroline Brunaud and Kevin Josse, to a track at which they have had so many important successes and to join in with HM The Queen’s jubilee celebrations. This is the fifth and final race that the Royal Cavalry are supporting with ARO as part of their sponsorship package for the 2022 season, with the race being held on August 13th as the opening race of BetVictor Hungerford Day. In addition, prior to racing, Dr Sarhan Salim Al Zeidi, will plant a Silver Birch tree as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative to commemorate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

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President of the UAE Cup UK Arabian Derby Group 1PA - £80,0000 Saturday 10th September Doncaster Racecourse, UK

Entries: Thursday 4th August 2022 Supplementary Entries: Friday 2nd September 2022

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2022 UAE President Cup - UK Arabian Derby Preview

Thomas Fourcy and Olivier Peslier celebrate after Abbes (FR) win in 2021

After two years of uncertainty with international competition due to Covid, the classy field for the Qatar International Stakes at Goodwood showed that overseas confidence had returned in UK Arabian racing. Just a week later, the entries closed for the Arabian Racing Organisation’s (ARO) concluding black type race of 2022, the UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby (Group1PA) to be run at Doncaster on Cazoo St Leger Day on Saturday 10th September. The £80,000 race over 2000m is exclusively for fouryear-olds and it represents the last chance for all sexes of that age group to meet at Group 1PA level in Europe. The prestigious UAE President Cup series

is now in its 29th year and is held in support of the vision of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan, to raise the status of the Arabian horse in all countries of the world. Faisal Al Rahmani, Event Manager for the UAE President Cup commented: “We hope that the success of these races will encourage people to spread the word and bring more new people into the sport. I’m very pleased with how the UAE President Cup series is going, as we have many followers all around the world. Every race produces a star, just like Abbes in the UK last year. We need to keep this momentum going and to encourage more breeding of Arabian racehorses.”

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ARO was thrilled with the quality of the entries received, with six of the ten horses that contested the French equivalent at Chantilly in June appearing in the list. The top-rated entry from France is Izadi Star, trained by Elizabeth Bernard at the La Teste training centre for the UAE based owner-trainer Helal Alalawi. Alawi will be hoping his colt can go one better than his Jugurtha De Monlau who was second at Doncaster in 2020. By Azadi, sire of the 2017 winner, Nafees, Izadi Star won Rounds 2 and 3 of the Arabian Triple Crown for Alalawi at Abu Dhabi in March, both Group3PA contests. The colt then came to within a head of winning the Group 1PA Qatar Derby at Chantilly on his European reappearance for Bernard. Afterwards Bernard told Jour de Galop Arabians: "I’m terribly disappointed because he got his head in front at one point! Cristian Demuro told me that as soon as he had taken the lead, Izadi Star raised his head a little. Consequently, Samlla forced his head in front again. It's a question of fine margins. The horse has made a lot of progress compared to what

he showed in France last year. He has been in the yard for two months. He was trained by his owner in the United Arab Emirates. He will contest the UK Arabian Derby at Doncaster before returning to the UAE in the autumn. So it's a stroke of luck to be able to train him for a few months. He's great and is an endearing sort of a horse, and is also straight forward to train and calm at the races. He's the horse every trainer dreams of having in their stable..." One of two entries from Pau based Francois Rohaut is Moshrif. Khalifa bin Sheail Al Kuwari purchased the progressive colt as part of the Shadwell Arabians dispersal at Arqana last year for !185,000, heading the Horses-in-Training segment. The following day he impressed when winning France’s premier race for juvenile colts, the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Poulains (Gr1PA) at Saint-Cloud and then went on to Doha to win the Qatar Derby (Gr3PA) for three-year-olds and the Qatar Silver Sword at this year’s HH The Amir Sword Festival.

Moshrif (FR) and Christophe Soumillon win at Saint-Cloud in 2021 THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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A Dahess half-brother to the seven times Group 1PA winner and sire Muraaqib, who Rohaut also trained, he could be joined by another young Qatari-owned runner in Ch’ezza. Running in the colours of Abdulla bin Fahad Al Hammad AlAttiyah, the son of AF Albahar won by a short head on his debut at Toulouse and comes from the famous Haras de Mandore black-type family of Cherifa. From the same female line is Zenhaf, trained by $tepánka My%ková. Another AF Albahar son, he is already a series winner having broken the track record for this distance at Warsaw by nearly two seconds when winning the UAE President Cup – Central European Derby. Owned by Rafal Platek’s WOW! Stable, for whom he was a bargain Arqana purchase at !6,000, he would be the first Polish owned and the first Czech Republic trained runner in the UK’s premier event for four-year-olds [read more about Platek and his colt on page 96]. Mont-de-Marsan based Xavier ThomasDemeaulte won with Hattal in 2020 and this year could be represented by Eldabar and Izimir De Carrere. Edalbar was a winner of the Group 3PA Sheikh Mansoor – Prix Dormane in April, a race which has proved a significant marker for future top-

level success, including at Doncaster, with both Nafees (2017) and Abbes (2021) doing the double. Though disappointing in the French Derby at Chantilly, he has since bounced back to form win the Prix Burkeguy (LRPA) against older horses. He races in the famous colours of the family of Jules Oukai, best known in thoroughbred circles as the owner of Prix du Jockey Club winner Bikala and more recently as the co-breeder of Exotic Dancer and Chichicastenango. After the Edalbar’s Prix Dormane win Thomas-Demeaulte said to JDGA: "He hasn't changed since last year. He’s a colt who shows nothing in the morning. Yet he’s serious in the afternoon. That's really great. He takes the bull by the horns in his races every time. That suits him. We’re not going to change a winning formula. With quality horses like him, the race programme is pre-determined. The same applies to Izmir de Carre&re, and I removed the blinkers this time round as he raced too freely in them last time. He got a bump on the turn and, when the others picked up the pace, Izmir de Carre&re (fifth) was still attempting to get back on an even keel. This cost him in terms of achieving a better finishing position."

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Third at Chantilly was Izimir De Carrere, a brother to Hadi De Carrere, winner of the world’s most valuable Arabian race, the Obaiya Arabian Classic at the Saudi Cup meeting. Proven over the Derby trip when winning at Pau in December, he was fifth in the Dormane behind Edalbar, and looks to be a colt on the upgrade for his new owner Sinan Khalaf Sinan Al Harti. After the race at Chantilly ThomasDemeaulte observed: "Izmir de Carre&re had problems as a 3-year-old. That's why he came late into training which also dictated a tardy start to the season. Very well-bred and schooled, he is going from strength to strength. I'm not surprised by his performance. He has a lot of scope for improvement. His brother improved with age, and there is no reason why it can't be the same with him.” Charles Gourdain is the most successful French trainer in this race since its

association with Doncaster, winning with Nafees (2017) and Rodess Du Loup (2018) and could now send Al Faisal. A three-time winner in Poland last year for his breeder HH Sheikh Faisal bin Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, since arriving in Pau with Gourdain, he has won over 1900m at La Teste. Another son of AF Albahar, he is another who is looking to put a below par run in the French equivalent behind him. Representing Al Shaqab Racing could be Aajel and Al Tammtam, the homebred colts are by their TM Fred Texas, who recently retired from public duties. TM Fred Texas also supplied their trainer Thomas Fourcy with his first winner of this race last year in Abbes. Al Tammtam won over 11 furlongs in April and whilst Aajel is still a maiden, he has been campaigned exclusively in Group company since his debut second in July last year, most recently finishing fifth at Chantilly.

Aajel (FR) in the paddock at Saint-Cloud in 2021 THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Ekleel Athbah (FR) wins the Al Nizwa Fort Conditions Stakes from Bayan Athbah (GB) in July at Newbury over six furlongs

In what looks likely to be the UK’s strongest challenge for several years comes the Athbah Racing homebred pair of Ekleel Athbah and Rebal Athbah, both sired by Laith Al Khalediah. Though neither have been tested in Group company so far, Ekleel Athbah looked a filly of some potential when readily accounting for her stablemate and dual PA Group winner Bayan Athbah at Newbury. Finishing in 1.18.11, she was just a fraction of a second outside of Bayan Athbah’s (hand-timed) track record of 1.17.65 , but still faster than the previous record set by Nashwan Al Khaleidah in 2010 of 1.18.88. Rebal Athbah caught the eye when a comfortable course and distance winner last month and is unbeaten in three starts to date. They are trained by Phil

Collington who has the best recent record of the domestic handlers having provided the third placed horse for the last two years. Collington has also entered his homebred filly Hattie Sparks who is yet to see a racecourse. However, he trained her brother Izenterisky to win on his debut and also achieved a third place in this race with the unraced Loolwa in 2020. Another homebred representing the UK is the Peter Hammerlsey trained maiden, the once raced Al-Hatab. His would be a fairytale victory, with his breeder Julie Kelway (who owns him in partnership with Hammersley) choosing his sire Tabarak after watching the horse win another Group 1PA decisively at the Doncaster St Leger meeting in 2013.

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Since the UAE Presidents Cup resumed its’ sponsorship of the UK Arabian Derby at Doncaster in 2016, the mile and a quarter race has been won by some of the best up and coming Arabians in the world. The list of winners includes four winners of the Qatar French Arabian Derby, and four winners have gone on to continued Group 1PA success.

are absolutely thrilled to attract a horse like Zenhaf. His entry shows the positive effect the UAE President Cup series is having on Arabian racing, and we very much hope he will be here in September to defend his good record in the series.”

Commenting on the entries Genny Haynes, ARO Chief Executive Officer said: “We are delighted with the quality of the entries for this race at time when there is a lack of four-year-old Arabians across Europe, not just in the UK. Whilst we expect to see proven Group winners like Izadi Star, Moshrif and our own highest rated horse, Ekleel Athbah entered, we

UAE President Cup - UK Arabian Derby Winners [since relocation to Doncaster in 2016] 2021 Abbes

HH Sh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani Olivier Peslier Good to Soft

Thomas Fourcy 2.19.00

2020 Hattal

YAS Horse Racing Management Ioritz Mendizabal Good

X Thomas-Demeaulte 2.24.51

2019 Hayyan

YAS Horse Racing Management Tadhg O’Shea Good to Firm

Frederic Sanchez 2.16.89

2018 Rodess Du Loup

Khalifa BH bin Khalifa Al Attiyah Christophe Soumillon Good

Charles Gourdain 2.25.08

2017 Nafees

Royal Cavalry of Oman Charles Gourdain Tadhg O’Shea Good to Soft 2.20.01

2016

Langoed Waterland Adrie de Vries

Lightning Bolt

Good

T TH HE E A AR RA AB B II A AN N R RA AC CE EH HO OR RS SE E

Karen van den Bos 2.22.05


T H E

A R A B I A N

R A C E H O R S E Issue No.!"

T H E

A R A B I A N

RACEHORSE

Jewel Crown HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival Special

Issue No.!!

February "#!$

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ARO Annual Awards 2015

FREE, quarterly digital magazine with dedicated coverage of all the Arabian Racing races, FREE, quarterly digital magazine with dedicated coverage of allOrganisation the plus coverage of international pattern races andcoverage Arabian racing news from around world. Arabian Racing Organisation races, plus of international patternthe races. Worldwide distribution via www.issuu.com/thearabianracehorse are always available: Worldwide distribution via www.issuu.com where backwhere issuesback are issues always available: view online, or via a smart phone or tablet using the free to download ISSUU application - view online, or via a smart phone or tablet using the free to download ISSUU application - subscribe for free, by clicking on the 'follow publisher' link on the website - subscribe for free, by clicking on the 'follow publisher' link on the website - follow on social media @ArabianRH on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - follow on social media @ArabianRH on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - watch The Arabian Racing Podcast in association with Equine MediRecord on YouTube

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2022 UAE President Cup - UK Derby Spotlight Rafal Platek's WOW! Stable

Zenhaf (FR) and Jan Verner after winning the UAE President Cup - Central European Derby - beating the track record for 2000m by nearly two seconds

With the publication of the entries for the UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby, the Arabian Racing Organisation was excited to learn of their first ever Polishowned entry, which is also trained in the Czech Republic, another first. Zenhaf, a handsome dark bay colt by AF Albahar is owned by Krakov businessman Rafal Platek, who along with a passion for fast cars, also loves fast horses.

He and his family have stayed close to his origins, but now live outside of the city centre, mainly to save travelling time visiting their horses and to Platek’s business restoring classic cars, RMP Motorsport. A look at the company’s social media feed and website has a gleaming array of Maserati’s and Alfa Romeo’s loving restored from rust to showroom condition.

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Platek explains: “It’s more practical. Our business is classic cars, mostly Italian, but also English classics like the Jaguar Etype, we have clients mostly from Germany and the UK, after Brexit it’s not been so easy. It hasn’t helped us, and it hasn’t helped our clients, the procedures are not like they were before.” “My two broodmares and their foals board with a Polish breeder of Arabians living in the north of Poland in Mazury, the Land of 1000 Lakes. They live along with my retired racing and endurance horses who are over 20 years old. They are just turned out, to enjoy the end of their days, it’s a good life.” The racehorses, running under the WOW! Stable banner, are a different matter. Platek has had a number of trainers over the years and though their small string of Arabians and thoroughbreds were originally trained in Poland, thanks to Zenhaf, they are now several hours away over the border in the Czech Republic. “Zenhaf had an injury when he was a

three-year-old,” explains Platek. “He was with Michal Borkowski, the trainer of Fazza Al Khalediah. It didn’t look good, so I took him out of training. “When I had Zenhaf back for rehabilitation, he needed the walker and the water walker and the place was in the Czech Republic; when he finished there after three months it was almost the end of the season, so I asked if they knew of someone who could prepare him for the next season and start him back in work. There was a trainer close by, $tepánka My%ková and I asked them to help to prepare him. “We considered the problem of it being a big distance to travel him to the races, as there are no Czech races for Arabians, so he might have just done his pre-training there. But when they’d had Zenhaf for a while and they’d galloped him a few times they said he’s close to our thoroughbreds, he can stay. They are close to the Pardubice racecourse and specialise with jumpers.”

Zenhaf (FR) and Jan Verner winning the UAE President Cup - Central European Derby THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Rafal Platek with his family, Jan Verner, $tepánka My%ková and Faisal Al Rahmani after winning the UAE President Cup - Central European Derby at Tor Sluzewiec, Warsaw

However, though there is plenty of Arabian racing in Poland, they protect their national races for their home breds. This means owners with horses that have been bred overseas, like Zenhaf, can only contest the international races, so a horse can be at a disadvantage starting off their careers at a higher level than would be the case in other countries, such as the UK, which has similar levels of prize money. “The trainers in Poland are not interested [in putting on more black-type races] as the higher-level races encourage overseas runners, so they are protecting their interests!” notes Platek. “This is not fair as they can race their horses in other countries, but not the other way around. So we couldn’t start Zenhaf off any lower, as he was ‘FR’ not ‘PL’, we didn’t have a choice.”

There are currently few options for the higher grade of horse in Poland, the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – Nagroda Europy, a Group 3PA over 2600m is their flagship race at their Arabian Day in Warsaw. They also have two Listed PA contests, the Al Khalediah Poland Cup run over a mile, also on August 21st and then in October, the Nagroda Porownawcza held over 2400m. The UAE President Cup – Central European Derby run over 2000m is not black-type, however the Emirates sponsorship has raised the race’s profile. Zenhaf’s win in a track record breaking time of 2.12.9 certainly got plenty of attention, and of course offers for the horse. However, this is not Platek’s goal, and having learned from Verner that horse could progress further it was an easy decision.

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“I enjoy my horses, my business is to sell cars, not horses. It’s not my purpose to train a horse and sell it. When I saw his result and we talked about the potential reserve in this horse with the jockey, and when I saw the time of the race on a track that was not fast ground, I decided not to sell him! “We have had great Arabian horses in Poland and that track record for 2000m stood for nine years, set by a filly as a three-year-old. No one has got close, and he was almost two seconds faster. We’ve had Fazza Al Khalediah and Salam Al Khalediah win there and in better weather. We’d had rain the whole week previously, the terrain was 3.4 [good to soft], some places 3.6 [soft], some 3.2 [good]. If I’d had a crazy proposal, then why not, you can always think about it, but not for a reasonable proposal!” He laughs. The team were confident going into the

race however, with Verner, no stranger to riding Arabians in Poland telling them that Zenhaf was superior to the horses he had ridden there the previous weekend. They had an idea he was better than average, but the record race time was clearly a bonus they were not expecting. Platek feels the horse’s exceptional temperament helped his chances saying: “I think Zenhaf has so much peace of mind, he so relaxed before his races. He travelled very well, and he sleeps in the truck. The trip to the racecourse is 600-700km for which they left at midnight and arrived at 7am, the horse raced in the early afternoon without spending a night in the stables for his first race which he won. The second time we made the same journey, as it is better to travel in the night in the summer as it’s not so hot. In Poland we have a period where it is over 30 degrees, sometimes 35, 37 degrees, so it’s not good to travel during the day."

Zenhaf (FR) lot 5 Arqana PA Sale in 2020 THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Zenhaf's half-sister Cleopathre (FR) wins the DIAR International Fillies and Mares race over 1600m at Bro Park in 2019 from Anood Al Khalediah (FR)

“Zenhaff is very quiet, completely relaxed. He likes to eat, food is his passion, which is why he needs to work a lot otherwise he will be too fat! It was not easy to begin with as he didn’t race at three.” With only three black type races available, it is natural for Platek to look to running Zenhaf overseas. Considering his options, he says: “I love international competition. I wanted to have a horse that I could race abroad, maybe not France, as French races are very tough and not easy to win. It’s also not easy to race against older horses, racing as a four-year-old colt. If it was a filly, there is the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Juments on the Saturday of Arc weekend, as it’s sometimes easier in the same age group. If we went to the World Cup there will be so many good horses, I do not want to destroy this horse as he has so little experience, he’s only raced twice in his life, and he has a racing

future ahead. I need to plan, quietly. “There is the Prix Dragon, but that is tough race too. We race a lot with our thoroughbreds in Germany, several times a month, but there is only one Arabian race, another UAE President Cup, but that includes older horses. My trainer for thoroughbreds also races a lot in France, but I do not have a thoroughbred for those races. The style of racing there is not so easy. I thought about Deauville with Zenhaf, but I prefer to avoid the big races in France, I do not like the style of racing there with a sprint at the finish, no early pace. “I would like to come to the UK. When I think of racing there and I have only watched thoroughbreds not Arabians, but I thought they were the best events – it’s a country of horse racing.”

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The Group 1PA UAE President Cup – UK Arabian Derby worth £80,000 for fouryear-olds looks a natural fit for Zenhaf at this stage of his career, given the distance and the limited number of French horses that make the trip over. Not bad for a horse that went through the ring unsold at Arqana, which Platek bought privately afterwards from his breeders the Haras de Mandore for !6,000. His pedigree is none too shabby either, being a grandson of the highly influential Cherifa, dam of numerous PA Group winners and a line that is still producing top horses today. His dam Zenhobie (by Dormane) may not have hit the heights as producer yet, but she is a full sister Djelmane, winner of Round 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge and though second in the Kahayla Classic to Madjani, was subsequently disqualified. Her sister Redjila has produced the Qatar International Cup winner Aba’ath by Amer, whilst her first foal Cleopathre, by

Nizam, has won four races in Sweden including at Listed level, another country with limited black-type opportunities. Zenhaf’s sire AF Albahar needs no introduction and has been a regular source of winners in Europe and the Gulf in recent years. Platek was back at Arqana last autumn, this time coming home with another twoyear-old that failed to attract the right offer in the ring, Ocean Al Maury. The colt, a product of a similarly wellregarded Arabian breeder in the Haras du Maury’s Rene Koch, was sold privately for !8,000. By the world’s highest rated racehorse Al Mourtajez, who has been gaining significant success with his first runners this season, the colt is not from an established du Maury line. However, his dam Obe De Ghazal (by Tidjani) is a sister to Akie Croix Noire, dam of the Group 1PA winners Asraa Min Albarq, Areej and Arc De Ciel, the dam of Gazwan.

Lot 24 Ocean Al Maury (FR) goes through the ring unsold at the Arqana PA Sale 2021 THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Ocean Al Maury (FR) wins on his debut at Tor Sluzewiec, Warsaw on July 31

Making his three-year-old debut over 1800m in Warsaw at the end of July, the colt fell out of the stalls, leaving the leaders many lengths ahead on easy ground whilst the rain continued to fall. However, he has clearly inherited some of his family’s ability, making up a considerable distance to reel in the leader on the line in what must have been a thrilling race for connections. To do well with one cheap purchase can be put down to luck, however Platek’s discerning eye for a horse looks well proven now. “On the first day at Arqana, I walk around without looking at the catalogue, just looking for the horses I like, I mark the numbers and then I look at the pedigree. I eliminate the horses where I do not like the pedigree, or I do not like the stallion. I

do not like the characters of horses by certain sires as they age, as I am also thinking about what I will do with them [if they are colts] after they have raced. If I could ride him or use him for endurance or sell him for endurance. “But first I look at the horse, even with thoroughbreds when I got to Tattersalls or Goffs, I am always looking at the horse, not the papers. I start from the opposite side to the others who are looking at the papers, they buy the horse because of the pedigree. Of course, there are times when I love the horse that I cannot afford, I chose the top lot at Arqana just on looks, of course I was not the only one to like it, but sometimes they make mistakes, like with Zenhaf, who was not sold.

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“So I went to speak with the breeder and there were others interested, offering more money, but to use him for endurance, and I was wanting to race him internationally, if he was good enough. I think that is why they sold him to me. His half-sister Cleopathre, went to Sweden, intended for long distance races, though she has won two sprints. France has nothing really over 2000m, so it was suggested I stay in Poland with him! “Maybe now I will look in the calendar to see what I can find, I would rather go international for Zenhaf next, I would keep the distance of 2000, 2110m 2200m, but if possible, to stay with his age group. He is not an experienced horse so the option of the UK Derby would be great.”

Platek notes how Zenhaf has matured since starting to race commenting: “I love Zenhaf, when I chose him, I was so happy as he was so gentle and laid back, now he has changed. Before his first race he was training with Ocean Al Maury, at the time, the younger horse was sometimes doing better, now he cannot keep up with Zenhaf, who is too strong for him, they can only gallop together if Zenhaf comes from behind, he is using much more power and is more serious in his work.” “Because of this I wanted to give Ocean more time, he looks nice, but he is still immature mentally, I think for some horses three years is too early and I think it was luck that Zenhaf did not race last year, because of his injury. I think it was good I gave him time to rest, as now he shows more potential.”

Rafal Platek with Ocean Al Maury (FR) after his win in Warsaw THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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General Lady (FR) being saddled at Paris Longchamp in 2018

He also has the six-year-old Najem Du Soleil in training in the Czech Republic. Bred by Lisa Deymonaz in France, of whom he says: “Najem is a very good horse, but he is not good enough for Group races. He was very small when he arrived, and though he has a really big heart and wants to race, the weight he has to carry in the big races, 60kg, is too much. “He has been placed and he was third, not beaten far in the Nagroda El Ghazi in Warsaw that broke the track record for 1400m two years ago - so he’s a fast horse, but for short races and we don’t have very many of those in Poland. In the big races like Al Khalediah Cup, which is over a mile, you struggle against the big stables with three or four runners.” Platek has also had horses in training in

France which he describes as “not a good experience, it was expensive and the trainer didn’t know Arabians, but my Czech trainer didn’t either!” He has raced there with General Lady who he had bought as an unraced three-year-old from the Haras du Grand Courgeon. She won four races in Poland before heading to France for the Juments on Arc weekend where she disappointed. That didn’t put him off and the following year she won two further races and was placed in the Listed Al Khalediah Cup in Warsaw before returning to ParisLongchamp on Arc Trials Day. “I had luck,” he explains. “We went to the Prix Dragon, in which there were only three horses, but the first placed, Karen van den Bos’s Akoya, he was disqualified, so General Lady finished second in a Group 1 race!”

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Platek had begun buying Arabian racehorse when they were retired, so that he could use them to ride in Endurance competitions as he explains: “The Arabian horses are my fun, I love Arabians. We decided to buy younger ones, as a racehorse, as then I would know it’s history from the beginning, so if it became an endurance horse in the future, I would know it’s veterinary history.

Platek’s Endurance riding has been on hold for the last two years, as he is limited on time and the Covid pandemic made it difficult to compete. To use a retired racehorse for Endurance is of course commonplace, but Platek has also branched out into breeding. He has several mares, the now retired General Lady and Parada Mochy, who has already produced several foals

General Lady (FR) and Antonio Fresu go to post for the 2019 Qatar Arabian World Cup THE ARABIAN RACEHORSE


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Rafal Platek [left] with his trophy for Ocean Al Maury's debut win

“Breeding for me is not the thing I love the most, sometimes I don’t know what to do with them once they have raced. General Lady’s half-sister Heredia, who also raced for me, I sold because I was not planning to breed from her, as she was very different in temperament. General Lady was very quiet and gentle at the races, but Heredia, who was by Tabarak, was crazy before the race, always sweating.”

Platek has done well with his bargain purchases, often it seems, made on a snap decision and gut instinct, so his choice of sires may prove equally provident. He explains: “I raced cars when I was younger, go carts and so on, so I can be rather aggressive when it comes to quick decisions, not always good, but it is the same when I buy horses, sometimes counting on the luck.”

Discussing his breeding choices for General Lady he says: “I used Harran ASF on her. I have Polish bred mare, Parada Mocy, she is by Nougatine, so half French; she had a Harran ASF filly last year, which is why I decided to use him on General Lady. I had used Al Mamun Monlau and Murhib on her before, but the Harran filly was the nicest one she has produced. I was planning to use Nieshan, but Harran was cheaper and as a first foal I didn’t want to spend too much, especially not knowing what to expect.”

He likes to dream big though and with Zenhaf and maybe also Ocean Al Maury, he could well have the right horsepower to progress his international racing aspirations.

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A R A B I A N R A C I N G O R G A N I S A T I O N

The Arabian Racing Organisation Limited (ARO) is the sole Arabian racing authority in the UK, operating under the rules and regulations of the British Horseracing Authority.

Racing with ARO allows owners and breeders to participate at all levels, proving their bloodlines through competition, from the spring through to autumn. T e l : 0 1 6 3 5 5 2 4 T4H 4E 5A R A BE Im ail: info@aroracing.co.uk AN RACEH RSE www.aroracing.co.uk


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Jayme Plumb's first winner Elyassaat (FR) and Mr James Harding at Royal Windsor in 2017 Jayme and Darren Plumb in the winners enclosure with Elyassaat (FR)

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The Final Furlong The UK Arabian racing and endurance worlds were shocked and saddened to learn of the premature death of Jayme Plumb due a to tragic accident in June.

this year, had come from the same source. Jeewan’s win had been particularly emotional as he had carried the colours of Darren’s late father.

Plumb, 45, had been registered with ARO since 2015, training horses for her and her husband Darren. Her first winner came in 2017, with Elyassaat who they had bought from Shadwell Estates and her most recent, Jeewan who won at Bath earlier

A talented and popular horsewoman, tributes poured in on social media, noting her kindness and willingness to help others, particularly in the field of endurance racing.

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